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  Swung Nothing You Ever Wanted To Know About Sex But Were Afraid To Ask
Year: 2015
Director: Colin Kennedy
Stars: Elena Anaya, Owen McDonnell, Elizabeth McGovern, Shauna MacDonald, Allison McKenzie, Steve Cree, David Elliot, Anne Connor, Greg Hemphill, Lesley Hart, Kimberly Neill, Gerry McLaughlin, Sarah McCardie, Gareth Morrison, Irvine Welsh
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Sex, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Alice (Elena Anaya) and David (Owen McDonnell) are a couple in their thirties very much in love, but finding a problem with their relationship; it's not her fault, it's his, for he is suffering impotence and they find they cannot get intimate as far as they would like. They have been attending sex therapist meetings but the fact remains David doesn't find these help, as it's a mystery to him why he is suffering this disadvantage. What he doesn't take into account is that he has seen his design company go bust recently and that can have an effect on the demoralised graphic artist, and when Alice tries to spice things up, as when she slips him an aphrodisiac into his ice cream one evening, it just makes him feel unwell…

As you may have worked out from the title, there is a solution to the couple's issue, but it takes a degree of organisation that not everyone would be prepared to go through with. Swingers' clubs in the movies, the non-pornographic ones, tend to be the subject of humour, yet with author Ewan Morrison adapting his own novel for the big screen he took it all rather more seriously. To be more precise, he started out with the humour, and by the end the comedy had turned into Eyes Wide Shut, only set in the rather more prosaic surroundings of Glasgow. David stumbles upon the swingers' scene while killing time on the internet waiting for the Job Centre to get back to him, not realising what he’s started.

When Alice finds out she is outraged, but as she is the breadwinner and her job may be hanging by a thread soon, she needs a good story at the magazine she works for, and when her erectile dysfunction tale falls on deaf ears she suggests to her boss that the swingers may be the ideal subject to revitalise the publication's flagging circulation. Which explains why one evening soon she and David are in a stranger's house aghast as they have sex right in front of them, so aghast in fact that they cannot go through with the participation side of the night and scarper. Nevertheless, it was an exciting experience to share, so on that cold winter's eve they finally succeed in achieving satisfaction, out of doors.

But it doesn't end there, as just when one solution presents itself a few more drawbacks rear their heads. Basically this was a yarn about the rubbish modern male, who can't satisfy his partner, can't find a decent job or even hold down the one he has, is a hopeless father (David's ex hands over their daughter to him for a measly afternoon in the park with a look of sympathy to the little girl that speaks volumes), in fact he has nothing going for him. All this was laid on so thick that you began to wonder what the decidedly non-rubbish Alice was seeing in him, and that appeared to have occurred to Morrison too as she starts to have second thoughts about continuing the relationship in "cold, miserable" Scotland.

All this is going on while Alice has to plough forward with her magazine spread, allowing herself less and less enthusiasm for it but since the modern malaise is affecting her too in terms of the uncertainty of her job, she is stuck with the subject that may stave off the end of her career, but is taking its toll on her mental wellbeing. It was quite a contrast between the first half, where we were chuckling sympathetically along with the hero and heroine, to the latter half, where things had become very serious, and that spoke to the British attitude to sex where it was all good fun until someone mentioned the consequences. Even the process of admitting what gets you going to someone who you are very familiar with could be a liability when the whole business turns into a chore, or even worse something to use against you once things stop carrying on in a lighthearted manner, and Elizabeth McGovern's ageing sex goddess has to admit herself that she has devoted her life to the carnal, but it hasn't given her the emotional satisfaction she would have wanted. Therefore everything comes down to love, which was sweet, but heavy weather to get there. Music by Richard Harvey.

[Metrodome's DVD has interviews with the director and the writer as extras.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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