.

Love and Sex

Famke Janssen, Jon Favreau

Directed by Valerie Breiman
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 0
Community: star rating
5 0 0
December 11, 2000

In Love and Sex, in which she and Jon Favreau (Swingers, The Replacements) play a lovely comic duet, Janssen is playfully wry and touching. Better yet, this battle of the sexes, which marks a vibrant feature debut for writer-director Valerie Breiman, is scaled to human dimensions. As Kate Welles, a journalist who writes about love and sex for women's magazines, Janssen has no superpowers. Kate is as confused and commitment-phobic as the singles she writes about. All of which allows Janssen to show a flair for light comedy matched by her remarkable skill to cut deeper when Kate's emotions are bruised.

Breiman uses a clunky but effective framing device for her film. Kate's editor (Ann Magnuson) asks her to write an article on how a single woman views the dichotomy between love and sex in the modern dating world. Kate knows she can hand in the usual airy bull. Instead, she decides to probe her own dating history for material. That takes her from a schoolyard crush on a boy who smacks her when she kisses and tells, to a serious case on painter Adam Levy (Favreau) that leaves her even more vulnerable.tatuesque Kate doesn't exactly tower over short and stocky Adam, but they still make an odd couple. That's part of the attraction. They court and spark with the emphasis on spark. He claims she has "a horse face"; she insults his "abnormally large head." Breiman is uncanny at illustrating the pings of irritation that drive couples apart. Audiences may also get irritated during the cute early stages of the relationship, when instead of saying "I love you," Kate and Adam say, "Cheese sandwich."

Hang on. Breiman moves swiftly to the wedge that really drives Kate and Adam apart. Kate is experienced with men; Adam is her thirteenth. Adam has slept with barely a handful of women; he can't live with that. They break up and date others, mostly to make each other jealous. When Kate sees Adam with a younger babe, she plays dirty by dating Joey Santino (Josh Hopkins), an actor whose ninja flicks Adam worships. Adam doesn't know that Joey's impressions of his idol, Robert De Niro, drive Kate nuts.

Love and Sex maps the brutal trajectory of a relationship in ways that are part Annie Hall and part Gladiator. Date-night filmgoers will recognize the wounds. In Janssen they'll see a gifted actress with a stunning future.

prev
Movie Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    More Reviews »
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Madame George”

    Van Morrison | 1968

    One of the first stream-of-consciousness epics to make it onto a Van Morrison record, his drawn-out farewell to the eccentric "Madame George" lasted nearly 10 minutes, combining ingredients from folk, jazz and classical music. The character that gave the song its title provoked speculation that it was about a drag queen, though Morrison denied this in Rolling Stone. "If you see it as a male or a female or whatever, it's your trip," he remarked. "I see it as a ... a Swiss cheese sandwich. Something like that."

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com