Review: ‘Scenes of a Sexual Nature’

Despite its come-hither title, "Scenes of a Sexual Nature" features nothing more shocking than a bare male bottom and some smutty talk. First-time helmer Ed Blum squanders an impressive cast by forcing them to recite screenplay's banal dialogue, creating a skit show that wouldn't cut it on local TV.

Despite its come-hither title, “Scenes of a Sexual Nature” features nothing more shocking than a bare male bottom and some smutty talk. Low budget Brit criss-crosser finds a spectrum of couples — strangers and old lovers, gays and straights — taking the air in London’s Hampstead Heath park. First-time helmer Ed Blum squanders an impressive cast by forcing them to recite screenplay’s banal dialogue, creating a skit show that wouldn’t cut it on local TV. Pic bowed domestically on Nov. 3 in niche venues, and has taken in approximately $100,000.

In pic’s most convincingly written section, Ewan McGregor, biggest name here, plays a gay man who says he’ll stop cruising if his partner (Douglas Hodge) will agree to adopt a child with him. Gina McKee and Hugh Bonneville also fare well as two prickly characters on a blind date. However, most of the other encounters — such as Catherine Tate and Adrian Lester as an impossibly harmonious divorced couple, and Eileen Atkins and Benjamin Whitrow as one-time lovers meeting accidentally after 50 years — range from silly to trite. At least the park itself is pretty to behold.

Scenes of a Sexual Nature

U.K.

Production

A Miracle Communications release of a Tin Pan Films production, in association with the Mob Film Co., 5 London Films. (International sales: Tin Pan, London.) Produced by Ed Blum. Executive producers, Vadim Jean, Suran Goonatilake. Co-producer, Amanda Wilkie. Directed by Ed Blum. Screenplay, Aschlin Ditta.

Crew

Camera (color), David Meadows; editor, Joe McNally; music, Dominik Scherrer; art director, Gordon Grant; costume designer, Jo Thompson. Reviewed on DVD, London, Oct. 30, 2006. Running time: 91 MIN.

With

Holly Aird, Eileen Atkins, Hugh Bonneville, Tom Hardy, Douglas Hodge, Adrian Lester, Andrew Lincoln, Ewan McGregor, Gina McKee, Sophie Okonedo, Eglantine Rembauville, Mark Strong, Catherine Tate, Polly Walker, Benjamin Whitrow.
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