Review by Robert Bell (A-)
Featuring clever and natural dialogue that is anchored by uniformly impressive performances from the young (mostly) Canadian cast, Young People F*cking is a refreshingly real sex comedy sure to be a cult favourite with many. What makes YPF stand out from the endless parade of soulless sex romps are the embarrassingly accurate observations and organically derived laughs. It struggles only in maintaining its tone as the slice of life insights are unable to carry to weight of an entire narrative.
The film follows the sexual pursuits of five separate pairings (and triplicate) as defined by non-diegetic on screen titles: the friends, the couple, the exes, the first date and the roommates. Each story is unraveled on its own without need to intermingle characters for purpose of connectivity; they are connected thematically, defining an overall dramatic arc and observation about modern relationships.
Best friends Matt and Kris (Aaron Abrams & Carly Pope) decide to take their platonic friendship to f*ckbuddy status. Kris is more comfortable with the arrangement, needing to urge on her friend with booze as he struggles to sexualize his longtime female companion. Amusement is derived from the friendly discussions that arise and honest revelations about how it feels to watch a buddy provide oral sex.
Abby (Kristin Booth) & Andrew (Josh Dean) play the couple, who find themselves in a sexual rut, going through the motions without any real desire. Itâ€™s a painfully relatable depiction of long term relationships and the discussion of fantasy screws while Andrew goes down on Abby is absolutely hilarious. Who knew that anything involving Ian Ziering could be laugh-out-loud funny?
The most complex and dramatic story comes from exes Mia & Eric (Sonja Bennett & Josh Cooke). The pair comes together for one last meeting and attempt to revisit a sexual encounter without strings and emotional entanglement. Unsurprisingly, it inspires memories, both fond and unhappy, which make the simple shag that much more complicated and difficult.
The first date segment is an amusing look at male/female manipulation and power struggles as Ken (Callum Blue) tries to get into Jamieâ€™s (Diora Baird) pants by convincing her that heâ€™s not interested in a one night stand. The mismatched dynamic and unique neuroses demonstrated give a needed sense of unfamiliarity to the overall text of the film.
Unsurprisingly, the most overtly comedic storyline involves a sexually liberal couple, Gord & Inez (Ennis Esmer & Natalie Lisinska), who invite Gordâ€™s reserved roommate Dave (Peter Oldring) into the bedroom for a threesome. Dave is initially keen on the idea, until he notices that Gord intends only to observe and narrate the sex act while eating cookie dough. The needed chemistry and awkwardness between the three is what makes this sequence as bizarre and memorable as it proves to be.
If there is one indie comedy to see in the summer of 2008, it is Young People F*cking. Giving the genre a much-needed kick in the formulaic arse, it proves to be one of the most genuine and true comedies in some time. One would be hard-pressed to find someone who doesnâ€™t find charm and amusement in this movie.