Such Much Films, Rhino Films,

John Hawkes, Helen Hunt, William H. Macy, Moon Bloodgood, Annika Marks, Adam Arkin, Rhea Perlman, W. Earl Brown, Robin Weigert, Blake Lindsley

Based on the story and personal experiences of Mark O’Brien (John Hawkes) who contracted polio as a child, and spends all his days inside an iron lung to help him breathe. He’s a writer and in his late 30’s when he decides it’s time to experience sex for the first time. He’s got a lot of guilt though due to the childhood death of his sister and his strong religious Catholic upbringing. He talks with a therapist who recommends Cheryl, a typical wife and soccer mom who is also a sex therapist to help him to get over his fears and get in touch with his own feelings.

This is a raw, but very touching story. The tale goes back and forth between the two key people in his life in these days. Before going through with the plan, Mark checks with his priest, played very well by William H Macy for understanding and probably some easing of conscience. The relationship between Cheryl and her husband and son is also briefly glimpsed. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a film that is so slow moving and hell bent on character development that is so touching and tender and so in your face at the same time. Few films today are so bold with all the skin on display, but I guess it is sort of necessary to tell the story. If you’re uncomfortable with total female nudity, then keep away from this one. Helen Hunt has no fear in this movie, for sure. But when the movie is over, you have gained a great deal of respect for what disabled people like this have to go through.

Is it based on a true story? Well, somewhat. It is definitely built on a magazine article written by Mark O’Brien based on his experience with sex surrogate Cheryl Cohen-Greene. But it doesn’t mean that it is all true. Based on a short story means a lot of material has to be added. But the essence of the story is true and it an amazing film. Winner of many awards at Sundance, this film really has an audience with many people. Others will not be so highly impressed. I enjoyed the masterful way the story is told, but did not find that it’s a life changing experience for me. If you’re interested in the subject and are not bothered by the excessive nudity, then go ahead, but this film truly earns it’s R rating and then some.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog



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