Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Ryan Gosling To Star In 'Blade Runner 2' Ryan Gosling To Star In 'Blade Runner 2' Watch: New Trailer For 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Flies Into The Galaxy Watch: New Trailer For 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Flies Into The Galaxy Watch: First Teaser Trailer For Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight' Watch: First Teaser Trailer For Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight' Watch: Zack Snyder Teases The Full Trailer For ‘Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice' & Upcoming IMAX Event Watch: Zack Snyder Teases The Full Trailer For ‘Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice' & Upcoming IMAX Event Ryan Gosling & Edgar Wright Talk 'Lost River,' Shooting In Detroit, And Advice For First Time Filmmakers Ryan Gosling & Edgar Wright Talk 'Lost River,' Shooting In Detroit, And Advice For First Time Filmmakers Netflix & Marvel's 'Daredevil': The Pros, The Cons, The Verdict Netflix & Marvel's 'Daredevil': The Pros, The Cons, The Verdict Netflix's 'Daredevil' Is An Awesome Achievement And Marvel's Most Graphic & Grounded Effort To Date Netflix's 'Daredevil' Is An Awesome Achievement And Marvel's Most Graphic & Grounded Effort To Date Watch: Action-Packed Footage In 2 New “Avengers: Age of Ultron’ TV Spots, Plus Watch Interviews With The Entire Cast Watch: Action-Packed Footage In 2 New “Avengers: Age of Ultron’ TV Spots, Plus Watch Interviews With The Entire Cast Watch: Trailer For 'The Great Beauty' Director Paolo Sorrentino's 'Youth' Starring Michael Caine & Rachel Weisz Watch: Trailer For 'The Great Beauty' Director Paolo Sorrentino's 'Youth' Starring Michael Caine & Rachel Weisz Joss Whedon Says He's Not Making 'Avengers: Infinity War' Because It's "A Young Man’s Game" Joss Whedon Says He's Not Making 'Avengers: Infinity War' Because It's "A Young Man’s Game" Watch: Take 7 Minutes And Learn The History Of Film Editing Watch: Take 7 Minutes And Learn The History Of Film Editing 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron' Called "Amazing" And "More Emotional" With "Insane Action" After First Screening 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron' Called "Amazing" And "More Emotional" With "Insane Action" After First Screening Joss Whedon Calls 'Jurassic World' Clip "70s Era Sexist" Joss Whedon Calls 'Jurassic World' Clip "70s Era Sexist" James Gray Bites Into 'Hard Apple' With '70s-Set Animated Crime Series James Gray Bites Into 'Hard Apple' With '70s-Set Animated Crime Series The 20 Most Anticipated Films Of The 2015 Tribeca Film Festival The 20 Most Anticipated Films Of The 2015 Tribeca Film Festival The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki

The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes

The Playlist By The Playlist Staff | The Playlist February 14, 2013 at 1:12PM

49
Gigli

"Gigli"
As with "The Room," laying into "Gigli" makes us feel bad; it's a legendary disaster of a film that came close to ending the careers of its two leads, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez (then still a real life couple; the former's bounced back in a huge way thanks to his directing work, the latter... not so much), and did end the career of its writer-director, Martin Brest, who hasn't worked since. But again, there is a reason for that, not least in its notorious and interminable sex scene. Affleck plays a junior mobster, who kidnaps the mentally-challenged younger brother (Justin Bartha) of a prosecutor in order to gain leverage for his boss, only to find that his employer has also hired a woman, Ricki (Lopez), to aid him with the task. About two-thirds of the way through, the pair sleep together, and it's awful and offensive as an idea on its own. Why? You see, Lopez's character is a lesbian, "turned" by Affleck's dim-witted charms, and only a few moments after her girlfriend has attempted suicide, no less. And between Brest's endless, sub-Tarantino dialogue, the complete lack of chemistry between the pair, and Lopez's command "It's turkey time, gobble gobble,"  it's hard to imagine how the execution could be any worse.


The Man Who Fell To Earth
"The Man Who Fell To Earth"
Nicolas Roeg might have been responsible for arguably the best sex scene in screen history with "Don't Look Now" (along with other memorable moments in "Performance" and "Walkabout," among others), but the director couldn't pull it off every time. His otherwise strong sci-fi "The Man Who Fell To Earth," starring David Bowie at his most Tilda Swinton-ish, features a number of questionable romps between Bowie's visitor from another world, Newton, and hotel employee Mary-Lou ("American Graffiti" star Candy Clark). It doesn't help that Clark is miscast, and Roeg shoots her in a way that feels ickily exploitative, but it reaches its nadir as Newton reveals his alien form to her, complete with dissolves/intercuts to what appears to be a bukkake-like alien mating ritual. It's a film from a different time, obviously, and one has to forgive it a certain amount, and for much of the film, it's less of a problem. But there's a limit, and we can't imagine these scenes being particularly involving even at the time.


Wild Things
"Wild Things"
Chances are some of you probably think the lesbian/pool/make-out scene in John McNaughton's maybe-satirical erotic comedy thriller "Wild Things" is pretty hot given that it's two chicks playing tonsil hockey in a pool all wet and wild. But it is really the frattiest of fratboy sex scenes, and borderline repulsive for several reasons. For one, since the two actors (Denise Richards and Neve Campbell) can't act for shit, it's in no way believable and therefore isn't sexy -- Campbell kisses as if Richards tastes like an ashtray full of beer and buttholes, and her wincing face makes the scene all the more grotesque (the fact that Campbell out-acts Richards at being horrible is another feat therein). And Denise Richards is all shallow, empty "hotness" with pretty obviously fake boobs. The scene is the height of manufactured hotness, a cheap male fantasy that is so artificial that it's just superficially sexy at best (tone wise, the scuzzy movie is just this side of "Showgirls," which doesn't help). The same goes for the three-way sex scene in the film with Matt Dillon later on, which makes us totally queasy every time because of Campbell's face, which looks like she's going to hurl whenever her hands go near Richards' rubbery Barbie chest. We're all for on-screen sapphism, but for more effective results try "Bound," "Henry And June," "Mulholland Drive" and many many more.


Damages
"Damage"
Louis Malle's penultimate film sounds good and hot on paper. It stars Jeremy Irons and Juliette Binoche as a pair that breaks their vows to have a torrid love affair with one another. Malle, Binoche, Irons, adulterous lovers. What's not to lust? The problem is that every sex scene is like a SNL parody sketch of two lovers that want each other so bad they'll break the imagined glass between them to fuck. Imagine serious thesps Binoche and Irons butt naked and licking, pawing and whimpering like wild oversexed hyenas in heat and you'll get an idea of how overwrought and overdone each sex scene is. I had the ignominy of watching this movie with my Dad when I was a teenager (these were the days you went to the video store and picked up a VHS without knowing much more than the actors that starred) and as much as there were painful, uncomfortable silences, they were often broken by loud laughs of recognition that we were watching some of the most absurd and silly sex scenes we had ever seen.


 

Munich
"Munich"
Steven Spielberg's brilliant "Munich" is nothing if not ballsy. From the opening sequence recounting the hostage scenario at the Munich Olympic Games to the revenge plot hatched by the Israel government to seek out those that were responsible and systematically eliminate them, the film is Spielberg at his most fearless and virtuosic. Except, at a key juncture, when it all goes to shit. It's towards the end of the film when we're watching our main spy (Eric Bana) have sex with his lovely wife (Ayelet Zurer), and while he's on top of her, thrusting away, he has violent flashbacks to the Munich hostage situation. This is weird for a number of reasons: one, when you fantasize while having sex with your wife, aren't you supposed to think about...well, anything but the Munich Olympic Games? Two, why would he be having sweaty sex flashbacks to an event that he was never actually at? We get it: the trauma of the mission has infected every part of his life, leaving him to drown in a swampy, morally gray soup. But Jesus. Spielberg shot and edited the scene with the kind of no-holds-barred approach he applied to the rest of the movie, which means glistening beads of sweat dripping off Bana's body in slow motion, but it tips the movie into dangerously silly territory, and both times we saw it theatrically it elicited nervous giggles from the paying audience. Sometimes bold moves result in equally bold miscalculations.

Thoughts? You must have your own favorites, and we assume you can't always agree with us. -- Oliver Lyttelton, Drew Taylor, Rodrigo Perez

This article is related to: Features


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates