Starring Jonas Chernick, Emily Hampshire. Written by Jonas Chernick. Directed by Sean Garrity. 18A. 103 min. Opens April 19.
Rare is the sex comedy that provides genuinely useful tips to those of us who could always stand to improve their prowess.
That My Awkward Sexual Adventure boasts an earnestly instructional bent is one of the many virtues of this affably lewd and consistently funny feature by director Sean Garrity and writer and star Jonas Chernick, who earned a spot in TIFF’s Canada’s Top Ten list for their efforts here.
A former regular on The Border and Degrassi: The Next Generation (he also stars in Garrity’s recent psychological thriller Blood Pressure), Chernick is endearingly nebbishy as Jordan, a Winnipeg accountant who’s devastated when his girlfriend, Rachel (Sarah Manninen), responds to his marriage proposal by dumping him for being so lousy in bed. Desperate to remedy his sexual ineptitude in the hopes of winning back Rachel—who embarks on a smutty odyssey of her own in his absence—Jordan enlists Julia (Emily Hampshire), a stripper he meets in Toronto, to be his “sex Yoda.” Yet it’s obvious from Jordan’s hilariously disastrous outing to a massage parlour that Julia will need more than the Force to make this sad-sack fit for any kind of horizontal activity.
Chernick and his castmates benefit from a comedic premise so rich in raunchy possibilities, even Judd Apatow would sell his eyeteeth for it. (Indeed, remake rights have already been bought by producers in South Korea, France and Lithuania.) But the fact that the wildest scenes—including an instantly notorious one involving a particularly tasty cantaloupe—stay rooted in a familiar set of emotions and anxieties means that the risqué content doesn’t deprive the movie of its essential sweetness. Nor does My Awkward Sexual Adventure lose its smarts, making it the rare sex farce that is ultimately more adult than it is adolescent.