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Sex Is Comedy (2002)

tomatometer

67

Average Rating: 6.7/10
Critic Reviews: 21
Fresh: 14 | Rotten: 7

No consensus yet.

audience

46

liked it
Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 4,265

My Rating

Movie Info

Catherine Breillat's Sex is Comedy concerns a female film director, Jeanne (Anne Parillaud), who is attempting to film a sex scene in her new movie. Complicating the already emotionally difficult shoot is the fact that Jeanne and her lead actor (Grégoire Colin) are sexually involved. The scene being shot echoes with a scene in Breillat's previous film, Fat Girl, adding to the supposed "reality" of the situations presented in the film. Roxane Mesquida rounds out the cast as the actress playing

Feb 22, 2005

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All Critics (50) | Top Critics (23) | Fresh (32) | Rotten (14) | DVD (9)

Annoying, soporific and, despite its title, singularly humorless.

December 24, 2004 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Reminds us what a vulnerable undertaking acting can be, and what an intimate, manipulative, caring and torturous act directing is.

December 17, 2004 Full Review Source: Denver Post
Denver Post
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If Breillat's aim is demystifying how passion and desire are simulated on-screen, then Sex Is Comedy is successful.

December 10, 2004 Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press
Detroit Free Press
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In Jeanne's world, and Breillat's, filmed sex is no ordinary eye candy. For their characters, it's an admission of a dark, complicated interior life that only the bravest of actors, finally, can expose on screen.

December 3, 2004 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
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Sex Is Comedy is not sure what it's really about, or how to get there.

December 3, 2004 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
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A rigorous and bracingly charming movie about moviemaking.

December 3, 2004 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Takes an absurdist approach to a sophomoric subject and wrings real laughs from it; a terrific comedy about lust, filmmaking, and the human psyche at its most clandestine.

June 12, 2005 Full Review Source: F5 (Wichita, KS)

[H]olds multiple mirrors up to itself, creating a neverending series of reflections and self-referents...

March 22, 2005 Full Review Source: Flick Filosopher
Flick Filosopher

a mistitled disaster

February 25, 2005 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

Sex Is Comedy is a lively, frank and often perceptive anatomy of screen acting and directing: insightful, self-mocking and engagingly alive.

January 28, 2005 Full Review Source: Oregonian
Oregonian

An eyes-rolling, forehead-smacking glimpse through the eyes of an artist in her farcical struggle

December 22, 2004 Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star
Arizona Daily Star

If you sometimes have the feeling French films are made by the most spoiled and self-involved upper-middle-class twits imaginable, it might be because of such films as Sex Is Comedy.

December 3, 2004 Full Review Source: Boston Herald
Boston Herald

It feels too self-satisfied, but the prickly personalities and relationships have the ring of experience.

December 2, 2004 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

an off-putting egocentrism...permeates [Breillat's] otherwise intriguing discourse on the relationship between directors and actors

November 27, 2004 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

Movies about movie-making can be unbearably insular, but I can't recall one that deals so specifically with the difficulties of love scenes without being exploitative.

November 19, 2004 Full Review Source: Los Angeles CityBeat

Audience Reviews for Sex Is Comedy

A director cajoles, threatens, berates, and befriends her actors in order to get them to perform the perfect sex scene.
The shooting of a sex scene has always been a curiosity for me. To put something so personal and private on screen in front of everyone from one's fellow actors to the Teamsters rep to the gum-chewing, fanny-pack-wearing, high school dropout key grip speaks to what levels of courage actors must have to do such a job. But this film doesn't focus on the actors' journeys but the director's various tactics to get them to do the scene. I can see how this concept might make a good film, but not with this director. Jeanne is a myopic, self-centered bitch, and her little manipulations are thoroughly uninteresting. What is more, I had trouble seeing the real conflict in the film. It's true that the Actor was resisting Jeanne's appeals, but I didn't see any real rebellion like the clear refusal of Sarah Jessica Parker's character in State and Main. The actors in Sex is Comedy seem willing and professional even though they are naturally uncomfortable.
Overall, despite its title, Sex is Comedy isn't funny or particularly insightful, and its focus is on the least interesting and least appealing character in the film.
May 25, 2012
hunterjt13
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

A movie about making a movie. The director in the film tries everything from cajoling to befriending to get a sex scene correctly played in her film. The last scene of this movie is the filming of that sex scene in the movie. I gotta say, it looks like they got it done right.

But this movie seemed to take too long. I'm sure they could have achieved the same reaction from her audience in a movie half as long as it was.
January 7, 2009
Redlats

Super Reviewer

Disappointing work from French stalwart Breillat? Afraid so. Though highly interesting on paper, the execution of Sex Is Comedy falls well flat. The plot circles around (it might as well be a making of) A Ma Souer, her 2001 emotionally upsetting drama, regarding the difficulty of creating a sex scene between two bickering actors. New names are adopted, but when the actress is re-used, there's no denying the AMS link.
The main concern here is that Catherine is normally in her element delving into psycho-sexuality, but for this project she seems a million miles away. It's not insightful, it's not funny (as the title might suggest), and feels like it could have easily been a 20-minute skit instead of a 90-minute picture.
All I really gleaned was that the actor used a prosthetic cock and that shooting sex scenes can sometimes be awkward. I never would have guessed that.
February 13, 2007
guttersnipe28

Super Reviewer

This was a pleasant surprise. I have found many of Mdme Breillat's films tough going and have often failed to understand her purpose. This, however, was a fascinating study of the process of making a film that kept me entranced. The acting was excellent and the story may be her most accessible. From what I've read, it is somewhat autobiographical. But, as a study in the process, it ought to be required viewing in a film studies curriculum.
June 30, 2013
Mark Abell

Super Reviewer

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