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How to Make Love to a Woman(2010)
A comedy of miscommunication between the sheets, "How to Make Love to a Woman" explores one man's journey to save his relationship by attempting to improve his "sex skills" instead of communicating what he really feels... and the right answers are not at all what he expected
For more about How to Make Love to a Woman and the How to Make Love to a Woman Blu-ray release, see How to Make Love to a Woman Blu-ray Review published by Casey Broadwater on July 28, 2010 where this Blu-ray release scored 2.0 out of 5.
Starring: Krysten Ritter, Josh Meyers, Ian Somerhalder, Jenna Jameson, Heather Marie Marsden
Director: Scott Culver
» See full cast & crew
How to Make Love to a Woman Blu-ray Review
Or, an Idiot’s Guide to Lovemaking
Reviewed by Casey Broadwater, July 28, 2010
With a tagline that oh-so-cleverly reads, "Don't beat around the bush," two things are immediately apparent about the straight-to-video flop How to Make Love to a Woman: 1.) It's going to be one of those crass sex comedies where men are portrayed as total ignoramuses when it comes to the topography and workings of women's nether-regions, and 2.) it'll inevitably try to make a tender, heartfelt point about the importance of communication in sexual relationships. The latter makes sense, even if the film is overly cloying about it. Both genders need to be open about their feelings, their desires, their hang-ups, what works, what doesn't, et cetera. "Well, yeah, duh," you say, and the whole tired joke of the film is that men are basically as blind as fruit bats to the obvious. The former, though—point #1—is where I'm confused. We live in probably the most prurient, sexually open times since ancient Rome. On the internet you can find sights so perverse—and I'm cribbing from The Smiths here—that "Caligula would have blushed." Explicit material—pornographic or just plain explanatory—is just a mouse click away. Do you mean to tell me, then, that in these days of elementary school sex ed, widely available anatomical diagrams, and sexual frankness, that there are still men who don't even know approximately where to find a clitoris?
Andy Connors (Josh Meyers) is one such man. By day he's a successful young record company executive, finding obscure bands and making their dreams come true, and by night he's a sexual disappointment, unable to stimulate, or even find, his girlfriend Lauren's (Krysten Ritter) most obscure part. That is, the most sensitive erogenous zone, which characters in the movie refer to by a number of wink-wink innuendos, including: the "diamond," the "hooded lady," and, in one of the few truly funny lines in the film, "the weak spot on the Death Star." As you'd expect, though, the problem isn't purely physical. Andy is basically married to his job; he's absent, emotionally unperceptive, and has a tendency to make all of the troubles in their relationship somehow seem like Lauren's fault. He's also completely unaware that the sexual dynamite he thinks he's bringing actually fizzles out before Lauren can get to the big boom. Or, as Lauren's ditzy, man- hating friends put it, the sex train to Orlando never quite makes it to the station. After an anti-climactic romp on their anniversary, Lauren lets out an audible sigh—one of dissatisfaction, not pleasure—and Andy finally realizes their relationship might be in jeopardy. And so he begins his quest to learn, yes, How to Make Love to a Woman.
What follows is a series of embarrassing episodes—embarrassing for the characters, but also for the film itself—where Andy and his suave, band managing best friend Layne (Eugene Byrd) consult experts on how to please a woman. Naturally, their first stop is a gaggle of lesbian porn stars, who berate Andy's technique and inadvertently arouse Layne. ("Dude, I'm getting a serious Notorious B.I.G. in my pants.") A trip to a gynecologist—who shows them charts and offers strange confessions—yields results that are more creepy than helpful, and a visit with a tantric sex- practicing Buddhist monk goes awkwardly awry. Later, in a total WTF-style moment, Andy meets porn star Jenna Jameson, who steps out of a minivan, her bleached-to-oblivion hair blowing in slow motion, and offers the film's emotional thesis: "Can I give you some advice? Good communications skills are the key to any relationship." Lesson learned, Andy understands he need to tell Lauren that he loves her, but it might be too late. Her boss (Ken Jeong) has hooked her up with Daniel (Ian Somerhalder), an old family friend, and the two are getting chummy once again. This is a "romantic" comedy, though—at least, it's supposed to be—so you know where all this is heading. Andy will eventually find the diamond—in more ways than one—and Lauren will finally arrive, so to speak, in Orlando.
The film is the product of first-time writer Dennis Kao and virgin director Scott Culver, who could both use some how-to advice on their respective crafts. The film strains in constipated agony to be both funny and affecting—the ending gets seriously saccharine—but the jokes are too broad and the characters never seem believable. Andy, in particular, is a total imbecile whose inability to get anything right almost seems like an affront to mankind. Really, no guy could be that daft, and Josh Meyers plays him with perpetual, what did I do wrong bewilderment, while his co- star pretends she's Penelope Cruz. If Meyers looks familiar, it's because he's a former cast member of MADtv and a near look-a-like to his older brother Seth, of Saturday Night Live fame. Josh shares his brother's smug, sideways smirk and affable everyman persona, but he just isn't funny here—not that he has much to work with. The script is subtext-free and sloppily arranged, built out of the leftover generalities and stock stereotypes of better battle-of-the-sexes- style comedies. The plot is an episodic mess that tries two twists too many in the final act, the performances fall flat, and the jokes arrive to the sound of crickets. The only the way film could have "straight-to-video" written all over it even more than it already does, would be if the poster for the movie literally had "straight-to-video" written on it in an enormous, bright orange, all-caps, 300pt. font.
How to Make Love to a Woman Blu-ray, Video Quality
E1 Entertainment brings How to Make Love to a Woman to Blu-ray with a 1080p/AVC- encoded transfer that does what it can with the film's low-budget look. Like most comedies, the lighting here is overly bright, giving the cinematography a flat, lifeless quality. This results in colors that, if realistic, seem a bit limp. There are moments when the film has more pop and depth—like the club scenes or the reunion in the rain—but in general the overall appearance is somewhat dull, with decent black levels but weak contrast. Clarity is mixed; some close-ups show all the detail and texture you expect from a high definition image, and other shots look slightly soft and unresolved. Most of this seems due to the focus pulling, though, which doesn't always hit its mark. (You'll often notice the camera operator trying in vain to keep the actors' eyes in focus.) Shot on 35mm, the film retains a thin layer of grain that rarely spikes, although because of the dimensionless lighting, the picture tends to look more video-ish than filmic. Still, there's not evidence of edge enhancement or out-of-control DNR, and I didn't notice any distracting compression artifacts. It could be better, but it could also be much, much worse.
How to Make Love to a Woman Blu-ray, Audio Quality
The same could be said for the film's DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track, which serves its dialogue-driven purpose but rarely offers any notable embellishments. The rear channels are only sparsely used for anything besides music, and when they do pipe up with environmental atmospherics —like club chatter or wind and sand during Andy's walk on the beach with Layne—the effect is somewhat jarring because you've been conditioned not to hear any ambience from the back of the soundfield. Mostly, you'll be subjected to a lot of bad "emo" and pop-punk music, which sounds brash in the high end and lacks the dynamic anchor of deep bass response. As this is a comedy—well purportedly a comedy—the emphasis is on dialogue, and here the track doesn't fail. Voices come through cleanly throughout—all the more clear because each punch line will inevitably be followed with awkward silence from the audience.
How to Make Love to a Woman Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Interviews (SD, 15:14)
Includes brief interviews with Forest Kline, Jenna Jameson, Josh Meyers, Mayday Parade, Ronnie Winter, and others.
Making of Featurette (SD, 14:59)
A typical "making of" documentary, mostly comprised of on-set footage and interviews where the participants talk nice about one another.
Outtakes (SD, 25:22)
Twenty-five minutes of deleted scenes—not at twenty-five minute gag reel.
Music Video (SD, 2:38)
A music video for one of the songs featured in the film.
How to Make Love to a Woman Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Straight-to-video comedy is generally more miss than hit, and that's certainly true of How to Make Love to a Woman, which strains to be funny and emotionally honest, but comes up short in both regards. The title sounds like a Woody Allen or Pedro Almodovar film—you might imagine a sexy battle of the sexes—but don't be fooled. This train to Orlando doesn't even make it to Atlanta. I can't get no satisfaction, indeed.
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