First Look Pictures continues their steam roll of DVD releases with Sex and Breakfast, their unrated romantic comedy starring Macaulay Culkin, Eliza Dushku, Kuno Becker and Alexis Dziena. Despite the scandalous title, the film really isn’t as overrun with nudity or sex as one would think and is, instead, more of a film about two different couples experiencing tumultuous areas of their relationships. Much more of a character study than anything, Sex and Breakfast is far from what it sounds like.
Couples James (Culkin) and Heather (Dziena) and Renee (Dushku) and Ellis (Becker) are experiencing lulls in their love life, as well as their relationships in general. Hoping to spice it up, the two couples attend a seminar about the wonders of group sex. With Heather’s parents having nothing but positive things to say about it, James reluctantly attends. On the other end of the spectrum, Renee and Ellis seem to be going just to see what it’s all about. Although the couples have never met each other before, they’re both about to sign up for something that will change their relationships forever.
Sex and Breakfast isn’t quite like most movies. It revolves around a single thread that’s spun around throughout the entire film and never branches off in any other direction. In many respects Sex and Breakfast feels like some kind of mini-movie (its run time of eighty two minutes only furthers that notion) that never quite goes anyway. It focuses solely on two different couples and we never move on to anyone else. While this is a solid story to follow, it just doesn’t ever feel like it warrants it’s own film and because of that it probably should’ve had couple dozen minutes lopped off of it to smash it into a short film category.
Even with its shortcomings as a full length motion picture the film does excel at introducing us to the characters, their relationship issues and the resulting aftermath of the experiment. I actually found myself analyzing what happened to each them afterwards but quickly finished my analysis in about thirty seconds—the film just doesn’t have that much depth and we can gauge pretty accurately what’s going on at the beginning and what will happen after the group sex.
I will say that the relationship issues in the film take a twist every now and then, but these are the things that could be ultimately chopped from the film as it all levels back out in the end. James is much too bitter about everything and isn’t open to trying new things to help further their relationship while Ellis seems to want to keep Renee all to himself, which both stifles and comforts her.
On the other side of things the film did boast a nice selection of songs from quite a few indie artists, some I’ve heard of and some I haven’t. The biggest name in the film was Guster, a band I’ve grown to quite enjoy over the years, with their song “Lightning Rod” from their “Ganging Up on the Sun” album closing out the later half of the film.
In the end the whole film, while a quirky and sometimes hilarious hour and a half, just doesn’t fully meet its mark. It’s not designed to from the start, which is what hinders the film throughout; we’re told to only focus on the core characters and there’s no supporting cast to speak of, so once we see their final scenes, the film just flat out ends. There’s little to reflect on what you watched as the film lays it all out for you. Now whether things remain the same is obviously something we’ll never know, but by the time you eject the disc from your DVD player you won’t care to remember too much about them all anyway.
I cannot comment on any of the final aspects of the DVD release as I was sent a test disc in a cardboard envelope. The video and audio transfer was marked for screening purposes and the only extras were six or seven forced trailers for other First Look features. While I don’t mind trailers, not being able to skip them at all was quite annoying—no fast forwarding, no skipping, and no menu option…nada. I quite literally had to watch every single one. I doubt if this is the way the final DVD is, but I just felt I had to whine about something.
Sex and Breakfast is now available on DVD.