A romantic comedy trafficking in as well-worn territory as The End of Sex really needs to do something in order to stand out. It can go for raunch and to lean into the sex of it all. It can focus in on hijinks. Or, it can focus in on the relationship and invest you in the characters. This film, while never particularly doing anything too original with any of those pathways, does mix in enough elements to keep you from ever being bored. It’s a low-key watch, but it’s amusing, charming, and goes down easy.
The End of Sex is the sort of rom-com that you likely won’t return to, but you’ll find to have been a worthwhile experience. It’s character driven and timeless, even while utilizing modern technology. By keeping things relatively simple, you can focus on the protagonists, so their urges and foibles lead the way. It’s not outstanding or anything like that, but it’s a solid little genre offering that manages to please.
Married couple Emma (Emily Hampshire) and Josh (Jonas Chernick) have just sent their daughters to winter camp when the thought occurs to them…they can have sex. Not only that, but they can have sex with the door open, making noise if they want. They give it the old college try, but they’re decidedly out of practice. So, with this camp time presenting an opportunity, they opt to try to reinvigorate their relationship with some sexual escapades.
The more they try to spice things up, the worse things get. An attempt at a threesome with Wendy (Melanie Scrofano) just leads to her becoming obsessed with Emma. A trip to a sex club leads to running into someone you really wouldn’t want to see there. The failures take their toll, as does tensions including Josh’s co-worker Kelly (Lily Gao) and Marlon (Gray Powell), a guy from Emma’s past. Will this attempt to get sexy lead to bigger problems in the end?
Both Jonas Chernick and Emily Hampshire feel like they’re playing real people, even when things get a little silly. Chernick is nebbish and timid, but never cartoonish, while Hampshire has a great handle on how her character feels shortchanged. Their chemistry is solid, investing you in this pair. Supporting players include Colin Mochrie, alongside the aforementioned Lily Gao, Gray Powell, and Melanie Scrofano.
Director Sean Garrity, working from a script by star Chernick, keeps things simple. There are a few cute visual cues, but Garrity has faith in the screenplay. He lets it mostly just be about the characters, as opposed to any real flash. The pacing is a little slack at times, but the set-pieces in The End of Sex are as amusing as intended.
The End of Sex isn’t going to blow you away, but it’s likely going to make you smile. It builds to a cute conclusion, complete with a final gag that’s one of the funnier moments in the film. If you keep your expectations in check, this movie is going to tickle you in just the right way. It’s not trying to do too much, and in approaching things in that manner, it manages to work.
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