LET’S TALK ABOUT SEX takes a revealing look at how American attitudes toward adolescent sexuality impact today’s teenagers. Director James Houston takes us on a journey to examine trends in American society as personified by a cast of diverse characters. At a high school for pregnant teens in Los Angeles, young girls are contemplating teen parenthood. In Washington, D.C., where HIV infection rates rival several African countries, community outreach workers are trying to save lives. The film also travels to the Netherlands, where Houston compares European attitudes with those in America, then concludes in Oregon, where the lessons learned in Western Europe are helping to create practical solutions. Real parents and youth, compelling statistics, animation and archival material all combine to paint an urgent picture of American youth in crisis, one that not enough people are talking about.
This documentary is probably not going to do much to change the way we currently teach sex education, but it makes a valiant effort to do so. The star power the film has received in terms of quotes isn’t bad either, with actor Hugh Jackman stating “Whether you have children, teach children, or are around children at all…this movie is a must-see.” And it really is; while it’s an uncomfortable topic for adults to have with children of any age, the documentary goes beyond that and helps provide multiple perspectives on the issue in an attempt to disperse the taboo surrounding “the talk.”
The film takes a pretty wide glance at everything, with the film going through a pretty wide variety of areas in the world to research the topic. Granted, the U.S. is a major focus but the trip to the Netherlands is a nice eye opener in terms of how we treat the topic compared to Europeans. Of course in that same regard, Europeans think it’s horrible that Americans enjoy watching extreme and gory violence in films…but that’s just the difference between the cultures that come into play quite a bit. In any case the documentary does a superb job in kind of narrowing down the oddities of the “situation” and discussing how we can better deal with the topic in the US.
It’s not a perfect documentary and like I said I doubt it’ll solve very many problems (and it’ll probably only solve a few if the right people watch the documentary to begin with), it’s still a valiant effort and one that will hopefully find the right people so changes can start to trickle down. As Reverend Carlton W. Veazey, President and CEO of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice said, “A humorous and factual approach to the important issue of sexuality education make this a must-see for any American.” There’s no real better way to sum up this documentary than that. Recommended.
New Video/docuramafilms brings Let’s Talk About Sex to DVD in a standard amaray DVD case. Nothing overly special about the presentation of the documentary here—no fancy exterior cardboard slipcase and the cover itself looks rather simplistic. Video and audio is a solid presentation overall and about what you’d expect from a documentary. As can be expected from a documentary the video is in 1.85:1 and the audio is a simple DD2.0 mix. There are no extras.
Overall a disc that’s worth a Rental as I’m not sure if you’d ever want to come back and watch this a second time, but it’s definitely worth checking out at least once and to maybe pass onto others.
Let’s Talk About Sex arrives on DVD on April 21st.