Film Review: A Guide to Second Date Sex proves that dating can be a joke

Often when dating and relationships are portrayed on screen they appear to be so perfect. But we all know that the reality of modern romance is quite different. A Guide to Second Date Sex is refreshing because it showcases human foibles and offers a more realistic and funny view of dating. This dramedy will appeal to those people who want an anti-The Notebook for their date night viewing.

Rachel Hirons makes her directorial debut here. She also wrote the screenplay, which is actually an adaptation of a play that was presented at various theatres in the UK. Hirons says that she was inspired by the stories she and her friends shared about their love lives. She noted how even confident and attractive people could be reduced to nervous wrecks when it comes to matters of love. This film goes out to all those people.

The story centres on Laura (Alexandra Roach (The Iron Lady)) and Ryan (George MacKay (1917)), a young couple who meet at a nightclub and click. They organise a date and all hell breaks loose. Cue some awkward last-minute grooming rituals, and talking with well-meaning parents and friends. Both of these kids have emotional baggage, as we learn over the course of the film through a series of twists. At times the characters attempt to act in different ways, just like George Costanza pretending to be the opposite in an episode of Seinfeld.

A lot of the film takes place in the intimate (or claustrophobic, depending on your view) confines of Ryan’s bedroom in his share house. The pair are plagued by social ineptness throughout their date. It’s funny to witness the voiceovers betraying their inner thoughts while their actions show a different side to things. The film takes place in virtual real-time and winds up being a well-observed look at how the sexes deal with the dating game.

The choice of MacKay and Roach in the lead roles was an excellent one. The pair share a good sense of chemistry and are very convincing at carrying out the jokes that are littered with a British sensibility. The humour is often physical and a tad absurdist, but audiences will relate to this and recall their own fumbles in the dark. It’s not a laugh a minute but it is certainly entertaining.

A Guide to Second Date Sex is a primer of what not to do, while offering the answer to a lot of contemporary rom-coms. It’s a light-hearted look at the nervous excitement that we’ve all experienced out on dates, and the painful and neurotic things we’ve all done. While the film is far from perfect, it will entertain audiences with its quirky and endearing sense of humour.

THREE & A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)

A Guide to Second Date Sex opens in cinemas nationally on February 13.

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