BODY SHOTS, directed by Michael Cristofer and written by David McKenna,
is perhaps the shallowest movie of the year. Starring a bevy of buff
beauties, male and female, the film appears to pay them by the
obscenity. Like a porn movie stripped of most of its images, the film
features characters who talk incessantly and obsessively about orgasms
and oral sex.
Some sex is acted out, but mainly the characters appear to enjoy talking
about sex more than doing it. With so many ludicrous scenes, it's hard
to pick an example. The one in the shower is representative. As guys
with rippling muscles shower, one talks on his cell phone and bathes at
the same time. Screaming to his girlfriend, so all his buds can hear,
he uses foul language to describe his sexual intentions.
Before the first line in the movie is spoken, the director has one
character urinate on a closed toilet seat and another vomit. Shortly
thereafter a girl comes in claiming she's been raped. The operative
word here is "claimed," but we'll get to that later. The movie proceeds
to flashback and work its way up to the alleged rape.
Starring Sean Patrick Flanery, Jerry O'Connell, Amanda Peet, Tara Reid,
Ron Livingston, Emily Procter, Brad Rowe and Sybil Temchen, the movie
features interchangeable actors and actresses. They should be required
to wear numbers so we can tell them apart. Only Livingston from OFFICE
SPACE manages to give his character any uniqueness.
Every scene in the film rings false. One character, for example, who
has a desk among a sea of desks, plays a loud porn video on his office
PC. Women talk about taking a class where an instructor teaches them
improved oral sex skills. Another woman claims that oral sex isn't sex
and neither is sex in a foreign country with a stranger.
The dialog is so ridiculous that it might be laughably bad if the actors
would slow down long enough to let us enjoy its stupidity. "So, are you
an aspiring actress?" a guy says in a come-on line to a gal he meets at
a noisy disco. "You're a director?" she inquires. "Right," he shoots
back. "I'm available for sex," she quickly assures him. Later at the
disco, another woman confesses, "Sometimes you don't want to be in
control. Sometimes you want to lose control."
The movie reveals to men how women can tell a real gentleman from a
fake. Real gentlemen order appetizers at restaurants.
It tries to be a message movie as well as a sexual titillation film.
"Sex without love equals violence," one guy repeats like it's his
mantra. Actually, the characters don't think any deeper than their
sexual urges, which they share with us ad nauseam.
Eventually the hyperactive movie does get to the "rape." Slowing to a
crawl, the story examines in laborious detail the two participants' view
of what happened. Is it true, as the Oakland Raiders football star
claims, that it was just consensual sex? Or is the blonde bombshell
telling the truth that it was date rape? The movie argues that in such
situations the truth is not knowable. The ending does at least bring
out some emotions from the cast, but it is shamelessly manipulative and
BODY SHOTS runs 1:42. It is rated R for strong sexual content including
graphic sex-related dialogue, language, violence and scenes of alcohol
abuse. Think of it as NC-17 and don't let your teens go unless they are
older and mature.
Copyright © 1999 Steve Rhodes