Kim Cattrall: Sexual Intelligence(New Video, 1.31.2006)
Short of sealing each DVD with a kiss from her wet vagina lips, Kim Cattrall has done everything to prove how sultry a seductress she still is throughout her involvement with this documentary. She ridiculously pouts, frolics, sashays, flirts, and shimmies as the film's narrator, yet all I want to scream is: "We get it! You played Samantha on Sex and the City. It made you famous. You're older than the usual sex kitten, but you can still deliver the goods. Let it go and allow yourself to be a three-dimensional human being again, not the cougar that every guys wants to bed."
Granted, Cattrall is what happens when Sharon Stone's project of being a fuck queen at fifty actually works, but boy is this is the wrong movie to prove it in. The makers of Sexual Intelligence are lost at every turn, mixing up agendas repeatedly. They attempt to educate viewers with serious commentary from sexuality academics such as Betty Dodson and Thomas Moore, but then Cattrall comes on to act the fool in aimless little segments designed to tie everything together. The filmmakers want to relax about sexuality and have fun with their subject matter but, at other times, the same filmmakers fail to ask, "Why would a viewer want to listen to total strangers talk about their boring relationship problems and sexual hang-ups for minutes on end?"
For a film that wants to have its cock and eat it too, the most glaring problem with Sexual Intelligence is that it fails to put its topic into a contemporary, pop culture context. Sex is everywhere in popular culture, which the film admits, yet it never moves beyond footage of the CN Tower, Lucien Freud exhibits at MOMA or historical anecdotes from England and Pompeii.
If the film's financiers didn't want to pay for the clips needed to create an in-depth analysis of contemporary sexuality in music, movies, and on television, they should have realized that what they'd end up with is a simplistic educational film for people seeking guidance on how to live their lives, as opposed to a fully formed documentary that challenges viewers.
If you still can't figure out the tone of Sexual Intelligence based on this review , I ask you to remember the yuppie couple that lived next door to the Griswolds in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. They jogged in matching silver track suits, screamed when their stereo system got ruined, and cried when their expensive carpet got wine spilled on it. In the fictional land of movies, that couple has already rented this documentary. Oh, who am I kidding? They bought it the day it came out.
The extras are easily the best thing on this disc. An excellent Tegan and Sara video is included, from a kick ass song called "Speak Slow." The other feature is a 20-minute interview with three animators, as they discuss the creative decisions made to render the animation used throughout Sexual Intelligence. It's not an earth shattering featurette, but it's a fresh and surprising choice to include the animators' point-of-view regarding the making of this film.
A word of warning, though: the animators tend to take on the same, "we're so liberated about sexuality, but somehow totally tight-assed about sexuality at the same time" tone adopted by many of the interview subjects in the film. That said, I can hardly talk, as I'd no doubt laugh uncontrollably with nervousness and fidget uncomfortably if anyone ever interviewed me about my sexuality at length. In many ways, I commend these brave souls for sticking their necks (and various other body parts) out for public scrutiny. It's too bad the filmmakers didn't do more to interestingly frame and build upon their subjects' considerable vulnerability. -- Jason Woloski