While peeling potatoes yesterday with a classmate, I casually mentioned that I had been assigned to review Sex Week: The Movie. She seemed perturbed and set her knife down.
“But Christophe,” she said. “C.O.I.”
Abubakara, usually quite coy, was warning me about Conflict Of Interest, that no-no place we reviewers are usually forbidden to touch. Since I knew some of last year’s Sex Week organizers and may even have helped them deliver a box of dental dams, Abu was right to tsk-tsk.
But this, my friends, is a fine exception. The movie, or at least its documentary portions, is most enjoyable for those who experienced the real hurdy-gurdy. First, we revisit all the vintage highlights of the program’s mishaps and miracles. We see porn director Paul Thomas and his faltering self-defense after unabashedly presenting his nipple-piercing S&M film in the Law School Auditorium; we see the ladies of Pure Romance dishing out vibrators in Davies; we see Ron Jeremy jollily runway-strutting.
But to splice fiction into documentary — as director Karl Kong ’08 and DOP Streeter Phillips ’10 do, and do fairly effortlessly — adds that much more paint to the palette, and makes the flick palatable for those not caught up in last year’s events. Alongside the documentary footage, we see two female friends enmeshed in man-trouble — Hannah Friedman ’08 has to deal with the dubious sexual interest of pseudo-boyfriend TJ Smith ’10, while her wild counterpart Caroline Minkus ’10 engages in a cautious but mature sexual dance with Stan Seiden ’10. Meanwhile, Ned Fulmer ’09 and Benji Hurlburt ’08, drunk or seemingly drunk, stumble around campus in a night both homosexually tinged and beautiful. Oh, and Molly Green ’09, the Fool of this production, is kinda nuts, also kinda brilliant.
It seems too crazy, doesn’t it? But the borders between the stories and the documentary are so flexible, the transitions so smooth, and the real experience so vividly captured, you can’t help but feel that “Sex Week: The Movie” is as entertaining and pleasingly didactic as Sex Week itself. Sex Week, after all, like its movie, was created for you. That means, among other things, that the film can be about you, too. As I explained it to Abubakara, if you want to eat potato salad, you have to make it first.