Archive for April, 2013

Does a Love Story need a Sex Scene?

This blog was inspired by watching Oblivion with Tom Cruise and a couple of women.  Now, I’m as big a prude as the next guy, but I’m going to say that if the driving force for the movie is that life is only meaningful when you have passion, then indeed, you need to show not tell.  There needs to be a sex scene.  Maybe then I would have really felt Jack’s relationship with Julia.Tom-Cruise-01-Oblivion  (Is it just me or is this image phallic?)

For example, when a man reunites with his wife after decades of being apart, a woman who he loves so intensely that he can’t forget her despite having his memory wiped out, I’m not not buying it without the sex scene.  It is not gratuitous.  A movie is a felt experience and if the protagonist is having a monumental feeling the audience should be let in on that.  Otherwise, why are we putting in the time to go on this journey with him?  It can be subtle or tasteful but it needs to be more than implied if the theme is driven by love.

So I started thinking, are there Romance movies that don’t have a sex scene?  Of course there are lots when you stop and think about it  like Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail, About a Boy, Hitch, many teen romances.  Tons more.  The key is to have a momentous first kiss – which is the first piercing of the intimacy boundary.  You wouldn’t for example, learn about the big kiss by having a friend tell a friend.  The kiss wouldn’t be implied.  Also, the movie has to end when the relationship starts if you are hell-bent on not having a sex scene.

I’m not saying Oblivion is a Romance but it is a story of love.  That’s what makes it an action story with a twist.  Love of Earth; love as a real connection.  Oblivion is first and foremost an action movie and there are fantastic visual images and some interesting new fight scenes.  The best part is all the twists and turns in the plot.  But the reason I would say it was not a great movie is because it has a theme of the importance of  real love, the felt experience.  This is supposed to be shown to be more important that the logical or evidentiary experience, yet it didn’t give us enough evidence of an understanding of love, in my view.

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April 27, 2013 at 1:44 pm 5 comments


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