aka Stories of Sex(es)
Director(s): Ovidie, Jack Tyler
Cast: Nomi, Leeloo, Lou Charmelle, Judy Minx, Milka, Eliska Cross, Lavandra, Kennya, Sabrina Sweet, Phil Hollyday, Ricco, Cruz, Sebastien Barrio, Dino Toscani, Philippe Duroc, Klement
Breaking Glass Pictures / Unrated / NTSC Region 1 / Widescreen / French with English subtitles / 88 minutes
One thing is for sure; the French kick our ass in artistic pursuit and merit. They have made some of the most beautiful, meaningful and powerful art in the world today. Be it painting, sculpture, the culinary arts or cinema, they are eons ahead of the United States. I believe the main reason for that is their freedom not only in their own mind, body and soul but true religious freedom. By that I mean that their society is not run by right-wing conservatives who speak to God. That freedom allows them the leeway to express themselves in a spectacular way where we as Americans (from the States anyway) cannot. In the case of cinema, the movie companies are not controlled by the christians through deep pockets and are not forced to cow-tow to a movie ratings board also influenced by those same people.
Not in a million years would the MPAA allow a film with hardcore sex (i.e. penetration) to leave their desk without a glaring XXX rating on it. It wouldn’t matter that the movie was more than that. It wouldn’t matter that the movie has artistic and cinematic merit. They would just see that the pussy, assholes and mouths were being assaulted by the cock-n-balls and –right after they quickly hit STOP on their remote control– the film would be headed for its home in the back room of your local video store (if there are any more around). The only way around it is to bypass the MPAA and throw an UNRATED tag on it which means direct-to-video oblivion. But in France, the cinematic powers-that-be are not beholden to such constraints and realize that sex on film does not always equal XXX porn smut. Such is the case with former porn actress-turned-director Ovidie’s (one name, like Sting or Madonna) latest film with co-director Jack Tyler.
Sex Stories –aka Histoires de sexe(s), aka Stories of Sex(es)– is a story of sexual relations from a real person’s point of view. Intimate troubles and triumphs that most, if not all, couples and singles face every day. Four couples break off into “Girl’s Night” and “Boy’s Night” respectively for a nice night of dinner, drinks and candid talk about their sex lives, or in some cases, a lack thereof. Very real stories of love, infidelity, bad lays and swinging are exchanged and friendships are tested as the truth about the secret sex lives of friends are poured out along with bottles of wine and whiskey. Some of the same situations are told by the same couple with very different accounts of the details, often with funny results, especially with “Seb” who thinks he is a stud and is completely ignorant that women think he is a joke in bed. After the night of eating, drinking, bragging and often learning, the couples return home forever changed by the night’s events.
Going into this viewing, I had no preconceived idea of the movie nor did I know that it contained un-simulated sex. So the first time a naked cock is flopped into someone’s mouth, I was more than a little surprised. Especially considering the quality of the production up to that point. Obviously I have no idea who these actors and actresses are, for all I know they could be French porn stars like Jenna Jameson and Ron Jeremy here in the U.S. What I do know is they are far and away better at the actual acting part than their American counterparts. Come to think about it, the fucking part might be in question as well. This whole production is so different than any adult fare here. The direction is so much better. Very artistic, soft and meaningful. Don’t get me wrong, the banging is sometimes down-and-dirty, but since one of the directors is 1.) French and 2.) a woman, the camera is not automatically drawn to a close-up of the dude’s huge ball-bag slapping on the girl’s asshole. It’s directed in such a way as to look like real people having sex… very, very hot sex, but real anyway.
I have to give kudos to Breaking Glass Pictures for bringing this to region 1 DVD. This is a huge gamble for them bringing a dramatic and artistic foreign adult film to the American masses. It’s not over-the-top exploitation. It’s not campy. It’s not horror and gore galore. But it is a very good movie for those of us who like a little intelligence with our erotica. A little story. Characterization. Sex Stories has all of that in spades and as a bonus, you get some hot, realistic looking chicks getting the bone from dudes who you may even be better looking than. Think about that and then go by this DVD.