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I Might Be a Prude

Here's another example of how I tend to over-think things.  A couple weeks ago I saw A Good Old-Fashioned Orgy, and I had a gut reaction to it that was one-third shock, one-third frustration, and one-third confusion.  Now I'm worried about whether I'm being a prude about it or not, and I'm calling into question all of my notions of sexuality and human relationships.

I like to think I'm a pretty laid-back and open-minded guy.  I'm generally supportive of people's rights to do whatever they want to do and I try not to pass judgment.  You want to have three wives and two boyfriends on the side?  Alright.  As long as everybody's of consenting age and sound mind, go do your thing and be at peace.

But then this Orgy movie comes along, and I'm repulsed by the final sequence - even though I already knew ahead of time that it was coming up.  (Heh.  "Coming.")

I'm having a hard time reconciling this.  Is it okay for me to think that a movie is skeezy and still support people's rights to have an orgy if they want?


(By the way, a quick message to the traffic surge I'm about to get from porn-related search terms: Thanks for stopping by.  Sorry to disappoint you, but there's no nudity here.  I do occasionally write quasi-humorous reviews of movies that feature porn actresses in dramatic roles, though, so maybe you can make yourself comfy and enjoy.  Once you finish up, I mean.  Or during, I guess, if that's your thing.  Your life, bra.)

I guess I'm disappointed because the first half of the movie was a lot better.  It's the classic story of a guy stuck in his childhood and trying to figure out how to move on to the next phase of his life.  He's throwing one last party in his dad's beach house before it gets sold, and he decides that the best way to go out is with an orgy.  With all of his high school buddies.  The setup is funny and there's definitely a rich mine of humor in the idea of planning an orgy, so they have some pretty good bits.

But then the actual night of the orgy happens, and it just... feels gross.

Maybe it's because the protagonist initially gets the idea of an orgy by hearing that young people wear rainbow bracelets to advertise their sexual proclivities, even though the rainbow bracelet sex-thing isn't real and is a generationally-repeated urban legend told on daytime talk shows by bored people who secretly want the world to be full of sexual hijinks.

Maybe it's because the characters all seem like emotionally broken people, and an orgy is probably not a good thing for them to be doing at that point in their lives.  Maybe it's because the movie plays up the orgy like it's some kind of beautiful, life-affirming thing that will help the characters to overcome their internal conflicts and become better people, but it feels false.

Maybe it's because the women randomly decide to get into a lesbian threesome while the guys watch - allegedly for comic effect - whereas the male-on-male sexual contact is kept to a brief kiss on the lips that is played up as a silly little joke, and the sexualization of lesbian relationships contrasted with the homophobic disgust at male behavior re-affirms a bigoted and skewed perception of reality while pretending to break barriers.

Or maybe it's because the movie then completely contradicts its message of personal growth by revealing that the protagonist's father's house isn't being sold after all, so he can continue to be a little child and have more silly parties.

Or maybe I'm just a prude.  I don't know.

I hate to say this, but I think maybe an orgy was not the best way to end a movie titled "An Old-Fashioned Orgy."