Sex and Breakfast

Listen to Zach and Bill’s podcast review of Sex and Breakfast at Movie Bonfire 

While the first feature film from 27 year-old writer/director Miles Brandman sports a provocative title and an intriguing subject (two young couples decide that group sex is the best way to solve their relationship quibbles), the lack of depth – both in the actors’ characterizations and in the filmmaker’s lens – prevent the story from getting off the ground.

Like Diablo Cody’s script for the critically acclaimed comedy Juno, Brandman’s Sex and Breakfast features a good deal of witty banter being exchanged between characters. Without the emotional underpinnings that Cody’s Juno provided, though, the jokes here are only skin deep. And while director Jason Reitman’s characters seemed alive and honestly three diminsional, Brandman offers us four empty shells, occasionally asserting a minimal impact on their partners.

Mexican actor Kuno Becker (Nomad: the Warrior, the Goal! series) and Eliza Dushku (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) are Ellis and Renee, a couple who hardly communicate and apparently practice sex more often alone than with each other. Meanwhile, former child star Macaulay Culkin (recently from Saved! and Party Monster) and Alexis Dziena (Broken Flowers, Strangers with Candy) are James and Heather: he the ever-subservient pacifist, she the pleasure-seeking nymphet.

From the opening credits, it’s difficult to accept the premise that either of these relationships are real. The dialogue is terribly stilted and the relationships – though perhaps well-defined on paper – are clear to the audience only through the actual words in the lines and never through the actor’s deliveries or the director’s blocking. When Culkin gives a monologue about the incredible honesty and elation he feels after sex, we are asked to take his word for it as nothing in his tone or body language exhibits anything remotely resembling his description.

For a film with sex in the title, there’s very little on display here (In fact Alexis Dziena’s few minutes in Broken Flowers are more sexually charged than this entire film). And the culminating scene, though set up to be a group sex therapy session, becomes a simple partner trade, with awkward looks traded all around that may leave audience members as confused as the characters they’re watching. Thankfully the film is only 77 minutes long, but that’s still 77 minutes better spent talking to your own significant other than watching ambiguous relationships unfold on your screen.

Zach’s Rating: F
Perfect For: Eliza Dushku fans who miss “Buffy”
Stay Away if: You’ve ever seen a student film and been disappointed

To purchase Sex and Breakfast, visit Amazon
For more reviews by Zach Freeman, visit HubPages

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