Compassionate Sex (Spain: 2000)

Compassionate Sex

Compassionate Sex

Honestly, it’s very difficult to make a movie about sex be this unsexy. This muddling, middling mess is anchored by Spanish actress Elisabeth Margoni as the town bicycle, who finds her mission in life to give every man in this depressed Mexican community at least one sympathetic roll in the hay, because, well, the girl can’t help it. Actually, her husband Manolo deserted her, and she can’t help thinking that it was because she was too good a person. To do bad, she becomes a whore, but true to her character, one who never charges.

Don’t worry, guys, there is no nudity in this movie, and the closest we get to graphic are a few bedroom moments featuring incredulous town members going “Is this real? Is this really real?” (or the Spanish equivalent of that). This may dismay the town females, the city prostitutes (who, you know, ride around in a Puta bus), and the priest, but once they see that Lolita (formerly Dolores) has a heart of gold, they embrace her wholeheartedly (which is the creepy part). This movie does a lot in its 109 minutes, but perhaps the real achievement of this film is to convince people never to have sex.

The movie doesn’t achieve this great feat through the acting, which is terrible at best, but through its message—have sex and you will feel compassion. As experience will attest, this is rarely the feeling humans have after sex. In fact, to say that all your problems in life can be solved by casual sex, while a cute idea, would mean that 1970s swingers solved the Cold War. Sure, I may be a little down on sex, but I can’t help thinking that Margoni’s character, Lolita, however compassionate, is a breeding ground for STDs.

Fine, I accept the idea of compassionate sex, but after the sixth or seventh go-round with the village idiot, you’re going to have to wonder whether the sex is giving love a chance or a convenient way to escape boredom. A much less expensive treatment for this town’s blues could be the installation of cable for example. Not once have I heard of anyone getting Chlamydia through the HBO.

What this movie most reminds me of is a “comedy” open mic I once attended in New York. One poor middle-aged woman, convinced she could play a “character” told the audience she was a patient at “The Institute of Good Sex.” However funny this must have seemed to her in the mirror, in front of an audience this was just creepy, especially because she went on for ten minutes in the same squeaky voice. By the end of her set I was convinced that if this is what good sex did to your mind, it would be better to remain celibate the rest of my life.

This movie also reminds me of this wonderful and superbly creepy Monty Python sketch that I invite you all now to enjoy:


One response to “Compassionate Sex (Spain: 2000)

  1. I’m not sure that I agree with this: “To do bad, she becomes a whore.” When Dolores goes to confessional for the first time–for her first sin–she is not apologizing for sleeping with a man. She apologizes for denying him in the bedroom. I think that Dolores/Lolita is actually supposed to be doing a good/honorable/saintly deed by sleeping with men.

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