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[Short Reviews]

BETTER THAN SEX

If given the chance, would you want a one-night stand with a stranger to turn into something more? Cute Australians Cynthia (Susie Porter) and Josh (David Wenham) meet at a party and decide to have some serious fun before Josh flies back to London. Newcomer Jonathan Teplitzky directs this libido-focused film, which juxtaposes the couple’s interactions with confessionals in which they reveal their thoughts and feelings about each other. Better Than Sex finds humor in all the usual places — sex itself, and stereotypical gender differences — but nonetheless make all its hopeless romantic pleasantries seem fresh.

The film settles comfortably into the mundanities of sex and space-sharing rituals (such as putting the toilet seat down). Freckled Cin, a dressmaker, and fair-haired Josh, a wildlife photographer, grapple hilariously with their growing attraction for each other while facing such minor issues as not being able to delay orgasms (Josh recites recipes to himself to keep from climaxing too soon). Although swallowing this sugarcoated comedy might be difficult for non-romantic types, it provides sustenance for any singletons who hope their casual fling will lead to better things.

BY JULIA COHEN

Issue Date: December 6 - 13, 2001

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