Take a Drink: for each “performance”
Take a Drink: whenever a character does
Take a Drink: for texts
Take a Drink: for Austin establishing shots
Take a Drink: whenever a guy is uber-creepy
Do a Shot: whenever you see an act mimed that would mean an easy NC-17 if it were live-action
By: Henry J. Fromage (Four Beers) –
You’ve heard of Air Sex, right? Yup, that thing the really fucking weird kid from the high school across town who always showed up to your parties would do after gulping down his first battle of Boone’s Farm.
This… this is not something a well-adjusted person does.
Well, they made a romantic comedy about the no shit, World Air Sex Championships. Cathy (Ashley Bell) and Stan (Michael Stahl-David)’s relationship fell apart when they moved to opposite ends of the country, but they got a second chance when they head back to Austin to meet a couple old college buddies (Sarah Paxton and Zach Cregger) whose relationship flamed out a bit more spectacularly. All the sins of the past converge on Austin’s Air Sex scene when Cregger makes the Championships.
Somewhat surprisingly, Love & Air Sex nails the romantic part of “romantic comedy” while falling short on the comedy part, which you don’t see very often. It starts with the cast, full of faces you’ll recognize from… somewhere, especially Stahl-David (In Your Eyes), Paxton (Cheap Thrills), Bell (umm… The Last Exorcism, Part II), and Cregger (Whites Kids U’ Know, beatches!!).
This feels apropos.
They all act very naturally and comfortably off of each other, and it’s easy to buy them as long-time friends, which really sells the drama when it comes. The script manages some really insightful commentary on how our relationship with technology preys on our neuroses, and zags where most romcoms zig, especially in its denouement, which surprised me so much that I was busy composing a diatribe about tired romcom tropes at the precise moment the film completely subverted them.
Too bad the comedy half of the equation doesn’t add up. Don’t get me wrong, there’s some good lines here and there and some committed comic performances, particularly from Paxton, who looks like a young(er) Emily Blunt both in face and comic timing.
However, the majority of the humor is as crude as it gets, and, much more damning, not very clever about it . Much of it wavers between lines that must have looked better on paper and reheated bits from better (and worse) films.
In particular, many of the “edgy” lines fall flat, and even though the actors do their best to sell them, they never sound like something actual people would ever say.
For a movie with Air Sex in the title, there’s not nearly enough of it in the film. Part of my attraction to it was finding out just what these crazy bastards and bastardettes are thinking in this “sport”, but it’s really just window-dressing for some pretty run-of-the-mill bro humor.
Love & Air Sex could have used more Air Sex (and effective comedy in general), but does a surprisingly excellent enough job with the love part to be worth seeking out.