Whipped

Sex in the city is a topic for three self-proclaimed New York studs — Wall Streeter Brad (Brian Van Holt), writer Zeke (Zorie Barber), wannabe actor Jonathan (Jonathan Abrahams) and their married friend Eric (Judah Domke). Sarah Jessica Parker and her HBO gal pals would blush at the subjects the bachelors tackle, such as kissing someone who's just licked your ass. The guys think every babe is their slave. Then they meet Mia (Amanda Peet), a cutie with her own set of scam rules.

First-time writer-director Peter M. Cohen uses shock tactics that were more incisively explored in the films of Neil LaBute (In the Company of Men, Your Friends and Neighbors). But Cohen lucks out with the scrappy, sexy Peet, a dream of a comic actress who can wrestle any obstacle — be it male chauvinism or a clunky line of dialogue — until it sits up and does her bidding. Peet stole her scenes with Bruce Willis in The Whole Nine Yards, playing a dental hygienist who sidelines as a hit woman. Here, her warm appeal removes the bad taste from Cohen's cruder conceits. Cohen labors hard, too hard, to give his male pigs their comeuppance. Peet does it with a twinkle, finding class among the crass.

From The Archives Issue 849: September 14, 2000
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