“Sex and Death 101”

Sex and Death

By Jae-Ha Kim
August 14, 2008

Sex and Death 101 presents an intriguing premise: If you were given a list of all the people you were destined to sleep with, would you give up what you currently have to fulfill that prophecy?

That’s exactly what happens to Roderick Blank (Simon Baker, The Devil Wears Prada, The Mentalist), who is engaged to a beautiful woman. But when he receives an anonymous message stating that he will sleep with 101 women in his lifetime–and she is but 29th on the list–he throws his life into turmoil.

A dark comedy from Daniel Waters, who also penned the superb Heathers, Sex and Death 101 doesn’t have the effortless flow of Waters’ breakthrough film. His muse Winona Ryder returns as a disturbed woman with a jones for Roderick and a penchant for the darker side of life.          But she is given too little to do to make much of an impact on the meandering plot.

Much of the dialogue does little to help the matter. “Life is a lot like death,” Roderick says. “It happens to everyone, whether they like it or not.”

The problem with Sex and Death 101 is that the line between life and death often isn’t discernible.

Baker and Ryder have both fared better in stronger projects.

The bright spot in this movie is Mindy Cohn (The Facts of Life), who plays Roderick’s put upon assistant Trixie. She proves to be more interesting and endearing than the leads, and adds wry humor to what could’ve been a thankless role.


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