Critic Consensus: The sex may be explicit, but Mitchell integrates it into the characters' lives and serves the whole story up with a generous dose of sweetness and wit.
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Critic Reviews for Shortbus
Shortbus is not, above all, 'dirty.' What it is, in fact, is a nice movie, one of the nicest to come down the pike since March of the Penguins.
This isn't an exploit into pornographic ideals, but a movie with genuine ideas that are completely freed from political correctness.
Director John Cameron Mitchell ("Hedwig and The Angry Inch") flaunts cinematic tradition with a raucous sex comedy filled with truly shocking sex acts that underscore his vision of New York as a playground of debauchery.
Shortbus flips through varying moods with overall success, fleshing out the characters who show flesh.
Audience Reviews for Shortbus
If this firm didn't have considerable artistic and intellectual merit, it would be porn. But it does have merit and it has a LOT more to say than prurience or lust. In fact, such sentiments would be missing the point entirely. It's a brave and brash film about sexuality and relationships that makes one wonder -- why hasn't a film like this been made before?
Okay, honestly, I feel like the sex scenes were put there just to be titillating. Not effective.
I nearly turned it off in the first 20 minutes. Shocking, graphic sex. But when the main character (a sex therapist who can't achieve orgasm, played by Sook-Yin Lee) turns up at Shortbus - a sex club named after the little school buses, filled with "the challenged and the gifted," says the host - the content makes sense, and the almost-story begins to take shape as she and the other characters look for that perfect chemistry, however weird that may be. Mainly, I think this is a film about facing your biggest sexual difficulties straight-on, and by the end, it pulled me in, and the content didn't shock me anymore. A tough watch, borderline pornographic in the beginning, but a film with a big heart that I wound up understanding... more or less. There are some story holes. Decent, though.
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