Relax . . . It's Just Sex | Chicago Reader

Relax . . . It's Just Sex

A frustrated writer who's unlucky in love introduces us to his circle of friends—most gay, some not, all enmeshed in classic relationship dilemmas. As this comedy-drama explores the idea of commitment, it treats the specters of ambivalence (bisexuality, loss of autonomy) and mortality (AIDS, the threat of violence) with humor and sensitivity. But the filmmaking style is kitchen-sink, including direct-address video clips in which characters explain their motives and a voice-over that insists we accept the perspective of the writer (Mitchell Anderson) as our window on the story, even though he's detached from much of it. An unexpected climax makes the events that precede it seem less cheesy, and despite the movie's uneasy relationship to camp, which renders some elements self-indulgent, writer-director P.J. Castellaneta presents a convincing alternative to the conventional notion of family. With T.C. Carson, Eddie Garcia, Timothy Paul Perez, Chris Cleveland, Lori Petty, Serena Scott Thomas, Jennifer Tilly, Gibbs Toldsdorf, and Cynda Williams.

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