Movie Review – Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989)

Director: Steven Soderbergh

Stars: Andie MacDowell, James Spader, Laura San Giacomo, Peter Gallagher

A sexually repressed woman’s husband is having an affair with her sister. When her husband’s old college friend comes to stay, she finds herself drawn to him, and when she finds out that he has a fetish of recording women talking about sex, she finds herself feeling freer.

Sex, Lies, and Videotape has the subject matter and the plot to make for an intense and interesting film, delving into the different ways in which people get turned on and how sex plays a part in different relationships. However, I think perhaps it was made too early for its time as it seems tame compared to the society we live in nowadays. Here, being filmed is seen as something taboo and exciting, but with modern technology it doesn’t feel out of place at all.

But what hurts the film most is that the pace is painfully slow and although there are powerful emotions involved it never feels that way. Everything is subdued, and I was never made to feel anything for these characters. I liked the relationship and the acting between MacDowell and San Giacomo, but the story just didn’t do enough to keep me interested.

Interesting potential, but the execution was lacking for me. I’d give this one a miss despite its reputation.


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