The End of Sex, 2022.
Directed by Sean Garrity.
Starring Emily Hampshire, Jonas Chernick, Gray Powell, Lily Gao, Melanie Scrofano, and Colin Mochrie.
A couple feeling the pressures of parenting and adulthood, send their kids to winter camp for the first time and embark on a series of sexual adventures to reinvigorate their relationship.
Typically in rom-com or dramas that depict a married couple struggling to rekindle their love, you’d see them begin couple’s counselling, go on a big trip, have a lavish vow renewal or situations like that. What you don’t often see is the couple go on a series of poorly planned and awkward sexual escapades to reignite the passion in their marriage, but that is exactly what director Sean Garrity and writer/actor Jonas Chernick depict in The End of Sex in what is a hilarious, dramatic, heartfelt and relatable feature.
The End of Sex sees Chernick and Schitt’s Creek star Emily Hampshire as Josh and Emma respectively, a married couple who have been together since their teens. When their daughters go away to a winter camp for a week, they decide to use that time to be more sexually adventurous in an effort to reignite what has become their vanilla sex life. From taking part in a threesome to talking about getting a sex swing, they inadvertently put their marriage to the test as they both begin questioning what they really want and how to achieve it.
Chernick and Hampshire share very nice chemistry, making it easily believable they’re a decades-old couple based on how familiar they are with each other. Their relationship feels natural, especially with how they sometimes overlap in their conversations, and their comedic timing works well with being foils to the other. Chernick is more awkward and eager to experiment while Hampshire is self-assured and seemingly content. The pair are also able to balance the comedy of their misadventures with the drama nicely as the arguments feel authentic and deliver genuine emotion. It is a struggle many parents will find relatable after devoting so much time to their children that the concept of free time and breaking out of routine would feel completely foreign and risky to them.
The supporting cast is kept fairly small to devote as much time as possible to Josh and Emma’s struggles. Joining them is Wynonna Earp‘s Melanie Scrofano, a friend of Emma’s who is invited into their bed and takes things a little too far, Gray Powell as an old friend who harbours a not-so-secret infatuation with Emma and Lily Gao as Josh’s very open co-worker. They each do well opposite Chernick and Hampshire both in the comedy and drama with Scrofano and Gao delivering a lot of laughs on their end.
What helps Josh and Emma’s marriage and friendships feel in peril is how the cinematography pulls the viewer in. Garrity’s direction places the focus squarely on the reactions of Hampshire and Chernick so we can see how emotive their performances are whether they’re in a huge fight or wracked with nerves after a new or awkward experience. The story is well paced and never feels dull as the film keeps pushing forward and adds interesting new beats while focusing on the character driven nature of Josh and Emma’s desires.
The End of Sex is a very funny film with relatable performances and a meaningful story that doesn’t focus solely on sex to find connections with its audience.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ ★/ Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★
Ricky Church – Follow me on Twitter for more movie news and nerd talk.