Casual Sex? (1988)

Genres - Comedy, Romance  |   Sub-Genres - Sex Comedy  |   Release Date - Apr 22, 1988 (USA)  |   Run Time - 97 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Brian J. Dillard

In this leaden, stagebound sex comedy, perky Back to the Future actress Lea Thompson and squeaky Saturday Night Live comedian Victoria Jackson vainly attempt to maintain their dignity while mouthing inane dialogue, mugging for exaggerated reaction shots, and speaking directly to the camera in front of a cheap black backdrop. Such holdovers from the original play aren't the film's only anachronisms; the tacky '80s clothes and music were dated even before the flick hit theaters. In terms of subject matter, Casual Sex? is ostensibly a feminist look at romance in the age of AIDS, but orgasm tips and small penis jokes are about as political as the protagonists get. As for the plague-era trappings, they amount to little more than a clumsy condom ad. The bad writing is endemic, but here's an example: "I was celibate for so long, I started to feel like a can of kitchen cleanser -- you know, sterile and gritty and abrasive. And when we made love, I don't know, I felt like a human again -- an animal with breasts." Another animal with breasts, Andrew Dice Clay, appears as the cartoonish Vinny, whose alpha-male behavior is no more stereotypical (and no funnier) than that of the female leads.