Follow TV Tropes


Film / Sex Ed

Go To
Sex Ed is a 2014 Sex Comedy starring Haley Joel Osment as Ed Cole, an underemployed Education graduate working in a bagel cafe while searching for teaching jobs. Eventually, he stumbles on a part-time job as an after school program supervisor at a secondary school in Tampa, Florida. After realizing that his students are struggling with puberty and desperately lacking an understanding of their own bodies or development, he begins instituting sex education lessons in his classroom, assisted by his roommate and his roommate's girlfriend. However, his efforts are complicated both by his virginity and by tense relations with his students' families: including a stern, conservatively religious Papa Wolf and the aggressive, tough guy boyfriend of a student's sister after Mr. Cole develops a mutual infatuation with the sister. While the film contains no small amount of Cringe Comedy due to the subject matter, all of the characters are nevertheless portrayed with a level of understanding and dignity usually avoided in the genre.

This film provides examples of:

  • Actor Allusion: Haley Joel Osment's character is named Mr. Cole. Sounds like another character of his who can see dead people, doesn't it?
  • All Gays are Promiscuous: Discussed by the main character's supervisor.
  • Ambiguous Time Period: Averted. Since the kids are in school uniforms as opposed to fashionable clothes, it's easy to think this movie takes place in the late nineties or 00s...until an almost throwaway line about Snapchatting dick-pics, instantly establishing that the movie takes place after the app's invention.
  • An Aesop: Sex education needs to be taught in schools or by parents, or kids will learn grossly incorrect information about it online via pornography.
  • Anatomically Impossible Sex: Talked about a great deal by Mr. Cole's very confused students.
  • Big Bad: Reverend Hamilton. He does all he can to prevent sex education from being taught from any authority figures.
  • Bigger Is Better in Bed: A concern of Eddie's.
  • Bittersweet Ending: By the end of the movie, it seems that Cole looks like he is going to work things out with his student's older sister, and has lost his job at the middle school, but then she dumps him and after a rousing speech by his landlady he marches to the middle school, where another of his student's father is running an A.A. meeting, and convinces him, and several parents, that Sex Education is an important part of their kids' education. He succeeds, and is later used to train other Sex Ed teachers.
  • Discretion Shot: One is shown when Eddie gets assaulted by Hector.
  • First Period Panic: One of the studnents has this, causing Eddie to call Ally, his ex-roomate's girlfriend, to deal with it. This kicks off his plans to formally teach sex ed.
  • Hypocrite: Reverend Hamilton turns out to be one when he claims sex education should only be taught at home by parents. When Eddie crashes his A.A. meeting and asks which of the parents have actually talked to their kids about sex, only one of them reluctantly raises their hand - and its not the Reverend.
  • The Internet Is for Porn: At the A.A. meeting Cole convinces reverend Hamilton, and several other parents in attendance, that if Sex-ed isn't taught in school, and if parents are too embarrassed to have The Talk with their own kids, then they will go to the internet where boys will learn that its okay to treat girls like sex objects, and girls will learn that its ok to be treated like that.
  • Jerk Jock: The main character, Mr. Cole, is confronted by one at the beginning of the movie. Averted with his jockish, but generally friendly roommate.
  • Jaded Washout: The main character's burnt out supervisor, who has turned to on-the-job alcoholism, complaining about his ex-wife, and making inappropriate small talk about sex acts during work is even credited as "Washout".
  • Moral Guardians: The father of one of Eddie's students successfully lobbied for the school district to not teach Sex Ed, on the grounds that it is not something students should learn from school, and is one reason why he gets fired. By the end of the movie, Eddie convinces him otherwise, and not only gets his job back, but he also gets the opportunity to train other sex ed teachers.
  • Nerds Are Virgins: A trait of the main character.
  • Of Course I'm Not a Virgin: The main character's explanation of his sexual history.
  • Papa Wolf: The strict, Christian minister father of one of Eddie's students becomes overprotective of his son and objects to Eddie's sex education lessons.
  • Sassy Black Woman: The main character's landlady and bartender of his most frequent chill spot is a sarcastic African-American woman who provides him comforting advice.
  • Sex Miseducation Class: The film is about an awkward inner-city schoolteacher who realizes his students have no proper sex education, and takes it upon himself to teach them. The kicker? He's a virgin, and the whole thing is played for Cringe Comedy.
  • The Talk: A major theme in the movie involves parents avoiding this, prompting Eddie, in spite of his lack of personal experience, to inform his students of what's going on with them.
  • This Loser Is You: At the start of the movie, Eddie is a recent college graduate working dead end jobs to make ends meet and and who is desperate to take any even slightly better work he can get.
  • Tropaholics Anonymous: Reverend Hamilton leads an ambiguous group of these.
  • Vice City: Tampa's infamously decadent and hedonistic Ybor City district forms much of the film's backdrop.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Eddie's roommate pretty much outright says this after Eddie's gets beaten by the boyfriend of his student's sister for going on a date with her, and then following it up by buying the services of a prostitute and promptly being arrested.