Th!nkFilm // 2008 // 91 Minutes // Unrated
Reviewed by Judge Franck Tabouring (Retired) // October 29th, 2008
Coming together has never been so complicated.
The title alone of Martin Gero's directorial debut YPF, also known as Young People Fucking, provoked quite the controversy in Canada, but the film successfully made it into the festival circuit and national release, welcoming generally positive reviews from the press as well as sold-out houses at the Toronto International Film Festival.
In a nutshell, the film follows four couples and a trio struggling to get laid. Okay, it may be a little more complicated than that. Essentially, the main story line centers on a bunch of individuals who really want to have sex but are wasting their precious time wondering if they really should. Although they all pretty much end up getting what they wanted in the first place (well, sort of), they do discover that having sex isn't always that simple...
If you've heard about the film before but aren't really sure whether to watch it because of its provocative title, don't worry; YPF is definitely not a porno. Sure, the movie is loaded with sexual dialogue, sexual acts, and profanities, but you don't see or hear anything more disturbing here than you occasionally see or hear in other films with strict ratings and less controversial titles. You don't see any genitals, and the actual sex doesn't last too long either. Instead, what you see for the most part in this film is people talking. But what about?
Well, let's say the characters in YPF primarily engage in heated discussions about whether having sex could fundamentally change their current relationship. Divided in six chapters, from prelude to afterglow, the movie tells five separate stories of individuals who want to sleep with each other but are simply too afraid of the possible consequences. Let's meet them:
First, there are Matt (Aaron Abrams) and Kris (Carly Pope), two best friends who decide to have sex because they're both sick and tired of always dating worthless morons. The real problem of their situation is that they've known each other for many years, which could have a negative effect on their special bond if they chose to sleep together. Plus, they have serious troubles to set up the right mood.
Also having trouble to do it are Andrew (Josh Dean) and Abby (Kristin Booth), the film's official couple. Andrew and Abby settled into a daily routine that doesn't include sex, and while Andrew doesn't seem to mind that much, Abby is sick and tired of not getting it. Neither of them really seems to be that bright, but one solution to their problem may be the use of some provocative gadgets.
Mia (Sonja Bennett) and Eric (Josh Cooke) are the exes, who decided to call it quits but find it very hard to stay away from each other. The mere thought of the other fooling around with someone else is reason enough to talk about getting back together for a hot night of wild sexual intercourse. Easier said than done...
Then there are Ken (Callum Blue) and Jamie (Diora Baird), who've just come back to her place after a first date and really try to figure out if having sex so early is really the best thing to get to know each other even better. But Jamie's obvious lack of self-confidence will make this decision harder than it seems.
Finally, we get to meet Gord (Ennis Esmer), who really loves his girlfriend Inez (Natalie Lisinska) but really wants to watch her bang his roommate Dave (Peter Oldring). Yep, you read right; Gord wants to pleasure himself by observing his girl getting all hot and sweaty with his loser roommate. These are the dilemmas the main characters of this film are dealing with.
One thing I have to mention about the characters is that most of them just behave like it's their first time. With all the talking going on, I really wonder how many people would engage in this much conversing before getting naked and actually having sex? Don't people often have sex first and then worry about the consequences? Isn't that pretty much how it really works? Anyway, for the people we meet in this film, the question of whether to have sex is indeed a major problem, especially because they can't even shut up while actually doing it. Nope, the conversations do indeed carry on until everybody is literally satisfied.
As far as the dialogue is concerned, it's almost equally divided between clever enough to capture your attention and rather boring and unnecessary. That said, select lines every now and then are hilarious enough to lift the atmosphere a little. Although the characters here are mostly honest, none of them are really memorable though. I also suggest you don't expect any deep lessons about sex in this movie, although some viewers may walk away from this with a humorous idea of how to react in a similar situation. In the end however, all the film tells us is that, if we fit into any of these five categories, we should know having sex may change our lives and relationships. My question is: do we really need a whole movie to tell us that?
YPF is certainly not a horrible waste of time, but I expected a little more in-depth conversations, to be honest. Still, the end credits start rolling at 84 minutes already, which means the movie is not too long and the plot doesn't drag that much. As far as the casting goes, most of the players turn in decent performances, although the shallowness of their characters prevents them from really showing off their acting skills. If I had to pick my favorites, though, I'd definitely go with the always funny Callum Blue, Carly Pope, and Josh Dean.
Surprisingly, the audio and video transfers for this low-budget comedy are top-notch. Everything in this film takes place inside, and the picture quality is sharp and clean throughout. The same goes for the audio.
Special features are absent on this disc, so don't look for any additional scenes or interviews.
YPF is not one of the most sophisticated comedies I've seen this year, but the humor is light and the cast refreshing enough to enjoy. There's too much simplistic talking going on in this movie, but at least it's not totally boring.
Guilty of endless babbling, but watchable nonetheless.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Running Time: 91 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Unrated
* Official Site
* Cinema Verdict Review