is a 2006 film made by John Cameron Mitchell, the guy behind Hedwig and the Angry Inch
. It is known primarily for its scenes of unsimulated sex
.Set in New York City
, the movie follows two occasionally intersecting narratives
. The first revolves around Sofia, a sex therapist who has never achieved orgasm in her life, and the strain it puts on her relationship. After attending the Studio 54-esque club Shortbus
, Sofia befriends professional dominatrix Severin, who tries to help her finally find orgasm.
The second revolves around James, an amateur filmmaker and former hustler
who is morose and introverted
. He and his boyfriend, Jamie, begin an open relationship with a third man, while a fourth, named Caleb, stalks James from his apartment one block over
. The film James has been working on turns out to have an unpleasant surprise
has largely been overshadowed by Hedwig
, it remains a quirky and off-beat flick with its own merits. If nothing else, it has lots and lots of sex in it
This work contains the following examples:
- A Date with Rosie Palms
- Big Blackout
- Bigger Is Better In Bed: Not actually discussed, but there can't be a single penis seen in the film less than seven inches long. (6 1/2 minimum)
- Brains and Bondage: Severin
- Cameo: Many, mostly of New York artists, musicians, and writers, and John Cameron Mitchell himself.
- Embarrassing First Name: Severin's real name is Jennifer Aniston.
- Epiphany Therapy
- Everyone Is Bi: Except for the characters who are gay.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: CBC Radio listeners will recognize journalist Sook-Yin Lee as Sofia. Definitely Not the Opera, indeed. Started a minor media storm in Canada when the CBC tried (and failed) to fire her for filming the non-simulated sex scenes in the film.
- Interrupted Suicide
- Love Dodecahedron
- Meaningful Name: Severin, taken from the protagist of Venus In Furs. Also a subversion, as Severin is the submissive part in Venus In Furs.
- My Girl Is a Slut
- Naked on Arrival: The opening scene are different sex scenes intercut with each other, including James attempting autofellatio.
- Nobody Over 50 Is Gay: Averted with Tobias, who most certainly does not resemble Ed Koch.
- Rescue Romance
- Shout Out: A vibrating egg has the phrase In the Realm of the Senses written on it. And yes, it is inserted into one of the main characters' vagina.
- Stalking Is Love
- Turn of the Millennium: Referencing many current events and trends of the early 00s, including The War on Terror, 9/11, and the New York City blackout.
- The Twink: Ceth, to some extent.
- Transvestite: Justin Bond.