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Better Than Sex

What is Better Than Sex? Two answers immediately come to mind. One, this movie. Two, the intended answer, commitment. This new, minor, romantic comedy from Australia follows a three-day one-night stand (ooh, clever!) between Cin and Josh. They meet at a party, and the attraction is instantaneous. Josh (David Wenham, Russian Doll, Moulin Rouge!) is a photographer, and only in town for three days. Cin (Susan Porter, Monkey's Mask, Bootmen) designs dresses and both of them decide that having sex is okay. Because of his short stay, there will be no strings attached, and no awkward sightings later. It is simply a night of passion and nothing more. Josh will leave, and both will move on with their lives.

Cin and Josh do not count on enjoying their time together so much. Josh stays another night, and the following night. Both want to keep things casual, but both also find themselves acting different towards each other. Before they realize it, they enter dangerous territory; they may actually be falling for each other. This is exactly what they wanted to avoid. Because of this, Josh and Cin become increasingly edgy and defensive around each other. It's almost as if these three days were a microcosm of an entire relationship. Their ups and downs are very cliched and familiar. The most annoying person in the film is Kris McQuade (Mullet, Billy's Holiday) who plays a taxi driver that dishes out advice and seems to be the only driver to ever pick them up.

It is not the story that is at issue, it is the characters. They are shallow and annoying. The actors are fine. The script calls on them to make out a lot and then argue. It's writer/director Jonathan Teplitzky's fault. Teplitzky has Better Than Sex play out like a documentary at times, with Josh and Cin directly addressing the camera in a confessional manner, looking back upon their three days together. It's a simplistic narrative device that distracts the viewer away from what little there is to the story. He has Josh and Cin's friends ham in on the action, contributing their opinions that are all uninteresting. Supposedly, Better Than Sex is also a romantic comedy, but there is very little comedy amidst the tiring romance.

Mongoose Rates It: Pretty Bad.
1 hour, 35 minutes, Rated R for some violence and language.

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