In this, the first of my Alternative Love Story Reviews, I have a confession to make – I love Jon Favreau.  It is not the deep and meaningful, torch-carried-since-childhood, love-in-the-face-of-terrible-movie-choices bond I share with John Cusack, but love it is.  Ours is a deep and spiritual connection that has endured since Swingers and grown ever stronger as late night repeats of his industry round table Dinner for Five sustained me through years of insomnia.  Then there is Love and Sex.

Love and Sex is, by far, my favourite romantic comedy of all time.  This is a dramatic claim for a woman who loves a chick flick as much as she loves stylish (yet affordable) footwear but there we are.  It’s a movie for grown ups, with brains, heart and a nice bitter aftertaste.  A complex and boldly thirty-something answer to the Hollywood twenty-something happily ever after, with a cast who dare to BE in their thirties.

Famke Janssen is Kate ““ a depressive obsessed with her own mortality, trapped into writing an upbeat feature about love for a women’s magazine.  Jon Favreau’s Adam is an artist, he falls in love with Kate at first sight and she against her will falls for him. Kate has slept with thirteen men, Adam with three women ““ he regrets asking the question and it haunts him throughout the film, with rather interesting consequences.   The chemistry between the pair is tangible and their rapid-fire banter feels genuinely heartfelt whether they’re making up, breaking up or occupied with the fun stuff in between.  I hate the expression “˜laugh out loud funny’ it is as trite and overused as unputdownable (ick) but it does truly apply here.  What sets Love and Sex apart from other rom coms is the thread of darkness and realism running through it.  The humour comes from recognition at the ridiculous things we do and say when caught up loving, loathing and leaving someone we secretly adore.

Every time I find a late night repeat on Film Four (often ““ let’s face it the poor Four folk have limited resources) I mean to tune in for a five minute fix, and each and every time I am there “˜til the end ““ rapt as the credits roll.  This is a movie with heart, a heart it’s not afraid to break.  All the food groups are represented: tears, laughter, obstacles AND a comedy midget.  You can’t ask for more than that.

Love & Sex, coming soon to a budget cable channel near you!

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Emily Breen began writing for HeyUGuys in 2009. She favours pretzels over popcorn and rarely watches trailers as she is working hard to overcome a compulsion to ‘solve’ plots. Her trusty top five films are: Betty Blue, The Red Shoes, The Princess Bride, The Age of Innocence and The Philadelphia Story. She is troubled by people who think Tom Hanks was in The Philadelphia Story and by other human beings existing when she is at the cinema.