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Louis C.K. should direct every sex scene in every romantic comedy—every single one. I watched Bridesmaids recently, and Kristen Wiig has two sex scenes where she wears a bra the entire time. The first scene is hilarious, with Wiig’s extreme discomfort, but no one dresses like this. The bra comes off eventually. I’m not picking on Bridesmaids, but the rom-com industry needs to put a stop to this practice immediately. I’ve seen it in Knocked Up (also twice!) and countless other pictures have the same problem. The first time in Knocked Up, it could have even been addresses as drunken fumbling, directly tying into the condom problem a minute later. It’s not a particularly difficult fix, I just get the sense that no one cares. The thing is, though, every time I see this, it kills the illusion that I’m watching people engage in an awkward act of lovemaking rather than actors portraying them. It just looks so unnatural.

Then, I wondered if I had ever seen a funny sex scene in a movie like this, and the answer is no. I did, however, see several in a television program, namely HBO’s Lucky Louie. It figures that Louis would be the genius to come up with the simplest solution this problem. Pamela Adlon, the actress playing his wife, would wear some kind of slip or nightie thing in their love scenes. It looked good, too, because it looked like something a woman might keep on when she fucks. They were sexy without being too binding or weird, she kept covered what she had to get paid extra to show, and the only unnatural or objectionable thing in those scenes was Louis’s penis. But that’s a different matter.

Young Adult, while not at all a romantic comedy, got around the nudity problem in a way that was in keeping with its weird protagonist’s style. Each time Mavis (Charlize Theron) was semi-nude (twice again!), she kept these flesh-colored rubber bra-cups on, or was still wearing them when waking up drunk. It was a creative way around showing her breasts fully, something we’ll be too hung up on to do for a long time to come, that felt right for the character.

I’m not asking to see actresses’ tits. Someone will leak those from her cellphone anyway. I’m not suggesting that the directors of the films mentioned are doing their jobs poorly, either. I just think that the movies should take a tip from a guy who’s already conquered their problem. It’s the idea of the bra in the love scene that needs to go away. Don’t rest on it, think of something else. There are still more ways to show women in a natural, sexual light without relying on something that just doesn’t belong there. Likely the first step is just to ask her what she thinks.


Even though I had fairly little idea about what he made the show, I greatly looked forward to Louis CK’s new comedy series, Louie, on FX. I managed to catch the first two episodes over the holiday weekend and found it even greater than I expected. There’s nothing like this on television now, nor can I recall anything similar in any recent year.

While I expected a sitcom in the vein of his lamented HBO series Lucky Louie, the actual format is far more interesting. Opening, closing and separated by bits of his standup are two short films by Louis CK. His stamp couldn’t be more evident on these, though the dozen or so times his name appears in the credits don’t hurt either. He even edits the show himself. That epitomes fanatical dedication to me. The first short, about an aborted trip to the Bronx Botanical Gardens with his child’s class, falls a little flat with its jokey ending but has a number of very funny moments. The second, though, about a horrible blind date, is amazing. It’s hilarious and filled with genuine, ugly, awkward moments and the greatest over the top ending I’ve seen on television (at least outside of Arrested Development).

The second episode features a great short involving his comic friends and a poker game, getting slowly more and more deeply into the nature of language and the political power of words, all without letting up on its central goal, being funny. The second short in this episode is so close to perfect it’s amazing. It features Louis CK, in a fit of post-divorce loneliness, looking up an old girlfriend on Facebook. It’s bursting with childhood gawkiness and late life regret. The kid who plays the young Louis nails it, too, without saying ten words in the short.

Louis CK has found a way to bring his art to television while keeping his creative vision clear and free. I greatly look forward to seeing more of this series and anticipate great things. So far, 5 stars

Gervais is always funny, of course, and the script starts off really well with a concept loaded for insight, laughs and a huge payoff…which never comes. The performances are on par at best for most of the film. Talent like Tina Fey and Louis CK are never used to the best of their potential, while Jennifer Garner and Rob Lowe eat up a lot of space being pretty and vacuous. This, in the end, is the problem with the trite ending of the film, as well. Rather than attempt to make an honest difference in the world when he is given the ability to do so, Gervais’ character simply uses this to get what he wants from it. And the movies expects the audience to root for him in this shallow, low-reaching underdog role, which his decisions never warrant. Decent but could have been so, so much more than cheap Christ imagery gags and the ending of every Happy Madison film. 2 1/2 stars