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Variations on the Theme of Relationships

  • Oct 30, 2005
SEX, POLITICS & COCKTAILS is another version of the 30s-something relationship avoiders trying to master the art of partner browsing, 'looking for love in all the wrong places'. This little shoestring film seems more like a standup comedian gig with visuals than a movie. That may be due to the fact that the writer and director and producer and star are all one person - Julien Hernandez. While Hernandez has a charm and adequate charisma to make this theme work, his film could have benfited from outsourcing the roles other than actor and make a little movie that would have seemed more entertaining and less self indulgent.

Screenwriter Sebastien (Julien Hernandez) has turned 30 and has yet to have a significant relationship - or employment. When a film project is offered to him, despite the fact that the subject matter is a study of gay relationships, Sebastien pleads for the job and then turns to his best friend Daria (Marisa Petroro) who is constantly surrounded by gay friends to introduce him to the gay life (Sebastien has been living a straight life). What follows is an endless set of encounters with gay men in interviews, in acting out, and in demonstrating just what makes various gay relationships work and not work. Sebastien is drawn to the crowd as they are drawn to him and begins to feel the gravity pull towards the men, one of whom is a wealthy African American male Billy (Lonnie Henderson) who dispels all of Sebastien's prejudices. The characters we meet in this survey are for the most part stereotypically flat and some of the 'controversial' parts, such as Sebastien's first encounter with a solo night of video porn and a banana fugue, go on too long to remain funny.

Julien Hernandez is a talented guy on the screen with a big dollop of charisma and natural charm. The one standout actor is Marisa Petroro who has a fine screen presence and saves the film in every scene in which she is featured. The problem with SEX, POLITICS & COCKTAILS lies in the direction and the decisions to employ too many camera tricks, flashbacks, stills on moving shots, and captions that only serve to slow the film down and reveal a degree of self indulgence. Others such as Woody Allen are capable of combining all the roles that Hernandez takes on but manage to keep the resulting work focused. But then this is Hernandez first outing and despite the overall weakness of this effort, he does give notice of a man with talent: he just needs a good director! Grady Harp, October 05

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More Sex, Politics & Cocktails (200... reviews
review by . January 18, 2007
"SEX, POLITICS & COCKTAILS"  Nice Try    Amos Lassen and Cinema Pride    "Sex, Politics & Cocktails" could have been a great movie but somewhere along the way to the box-office and in the editing room. There are some good performances but for some reason the movie seemed to go on and on and on.   Sebastian Cortez, a filmmaker suddenly finds himself too old and incapable of love. He embarks on a quest to find the right person for him and …
About the reviewer
Grady Harp ()
Grady Harp is a champion of Representational Art in the roles of curator, lecturer, panelist, writer of art essays, poetry, critical reviews of literature, art and music, and as a gallerist. He has presented … more
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DVD Release Date: August 30, 2005
Runtime: 88 minutes
Studio: Tla

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