(director/writer: Lena Dunham; cinematographer: Ashley Connor; editor: Catrin Hedstrom; music: Luis Felber, Matt Allchin; cast: Kristene Froseth (Sarah Jo), Jon Bernthal (Josh), Luka Sabbat (Arvin), Taylor Paige (Treina), Scott Speedman (Vance Leroy), Lena Dunham (Heather), Jennifer Jason Leigh (Marilyn), Liam Michel Saux (Zach), Ebon Moss-Bachrach (Yuli); Runtime: 86; MPAA Rating: NR; producers; Lena Dunham, Michael P. Cohen, Kevin Turen, Katia Washington: Film Nation Entertainment; 2022)
“Sadly nails how a certain segment of today’s young population acts.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Lena Dunham (“Tiny Furniture”/”The Fountain”) is auteur of this charmless comedy, filled with sexual misadventures as a means of self-discovery. It’s her first film directed since her 2010 Tiny Furniture. Instead in 2012 she brought her talent to HBO’s Girls for six TV seasons directing.
It’s set in Los Angeles. The immature 26-year-old virgin Sarah Jo (Kristine Froseth) oppressively lives at home with her five-times divorced mother Marilyn (Jennifer Jason Leigh), a bohemian property manager, and bossy older adopted Black sister, a dance video maven, Treina (Taylour Paige). In her new job, Sarah Jo’s a caretaker for Zach (Liam Michel Saux), a boy with Down’s. The kid’s manipulative parents are the pregnant Heather (Lena Dunham) and the nerdy dad Josh (Jon Bernthal).
At home, Sarah Jo discovers porn through the porn star Vance (Scott Speedman). At work, she talks sex with the needy Josh and suddenly loses her cherry while having sex with him on the floor of the laundry room.
Marilyn throws Treina a party for getting an abortion. All the guests are hung up on sex, as our heroine has a long-overdue continuous sexual awakening and works diligently on a sexual to-do list.
It’s messy, funny (if gross-out comedy is your thing), and in its stupidity sadly nails how a certain segment of today’s young population act.
Its world premiere was in the Premieres section of this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
REVIEWED ON 1/31/2022 GRADE: C