Free for all month and we start June with this biopic of awesome polish gynaecologist Michalina Wislocka, a sex campaigner who rocked the sex lives of polish women forever. My new favourite heroine basically.
Michalina Wislocka, the most famous and recognized sexologist of communist Poland, fights for the right to publish her book, which will change the sex life of Polish people forever.
Michalina Wislocka was a well-respected gynaecologist and massive influence over the sex lives of women living and loving in Poland under communist rule. An activist for sex ed for all, we meet her (played perfectly by Magdalena Boczarska) at the beginning of this biopic as the author of a new book entitled “The Art of Loving”.
Unfortunately, she faces a hell of an opposition from the communist party, the censors and the church because of her frank talk and non-academic way of phrasing things so everyone can understand them. Plus the mostly male objectors just don’t care much about women’s pleasure (who knew?). As she battles to get her tome published, without sacrificing any of its vital content (including the chapter on the female orgasm), we learn how she became the great woman she was.
TAOL takes us from current day (the seventies) back to the birth of Michalina’s forward thinking ways during the war and to her first marriage to a biologist that ended in a long-term love triangle with her best friend Wanda. Wanda is brought into the domestic mix so that Michalina doesn’t have to shag her husband, whom she loves dearly but doesn’t fancy (or rather, she finds sex painful). The relationship comes to a head (pnar) many years and two children (by different mums) later when her husband decides he loves Wanda and Wanda angrily demands the right to be loved too.
Following the bust up of her family life, Michalina throws herself into her work and research and this eventually brings her to meet a new lover. Sex becomes a thing of pure joy and opens up a whole new world to our heroine. While the relationship is ultimately doomed from the start, it’s valuable lessons certainly contribute to Micalina’s success.
Will she get this damn book published and see it reprinted a further billion times* in her lifetime?
I really enjoyed this film, which marries serious subject matter with a wry sense of humour. Boczarska is magnificent as Michalina. She plays her part with relish and is completely believable as a warrior for women’s sex rights. It’s also poignant as fuck when she finds out her old lover has passed away years later.
I’m quite cross with myself that I didn’t know more about this incredible woman before now and I definitely recommend this film, which in parts sort of reminded me of Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (2017) – must be because of the threesomes!
What did my sex pot think of this? Would she censor the fudge out of it or send it a lifetime supply of johnnys? Find out here.
April already and time for a new Collab category but do you think we can think of anything? Can we fuck. So it’s a Free for All again and I’m not mad about it. I’m mad about this week’s film however but that’s another story.
A woman on the brink of a marriage proposal is told by a friend that she should date other men before spending the rest of her life with her boyfriend.
Will (Dan Stevens) and Anna (the luminous Rebecca Hall) are childhood sweethearts blissfully in love and happy in life. Anna’s some sort of academic while Will makes tables, and in his spare time renovates a home for the two of them to live in. Once completed the plan is that they’ll move in, get engaged, have the babies, all that jazz.
This is all well and good but you didn’t think it would be that easy, did you? On the night of Anna’s 30th birthday, one of their friends (more on this arse clown later) mocks them for being boring and ponders how they can possibly be happy never to see anyone else’s junk. The couple is initially bemused by this reaction but it triggers a conversation that leads to an agreement that they will in fact sow some oats with other people before they put a ring on it. They’re strong enough, right? And it’s all just physical – RIGHT?
Well, straight off the bat Anna gets down with sexy Dane who she meets in a club when she’s with Will. Will’s all for the union and Anna enjoys herself, despite the initial butterflies. Will in turn is not short of offers and soon afterwards gets it on with Gina Gershon (who’s the best thing in this film). When Anna finds out, she pushes Will to see her again because she wants to spend more time with Dane. And here’s where things start to unravel… like, what? I get that no strings loving can be hard to do if you’re not that kind of person but you’re not looking for new relationships, guys. Or…?
It should be said that they also each make a questionable sexual decision in addition to Dane and Lydia, and this might be why they go running back into the safe arms of their initial conquests.
Running parallel to the main relationship woe is the slow disintegration of Reece and Hale’s relationship. Reece is the jerk friend who suggested Will and Anna’s way of life was a problem in the first place. Hale is desperate for a child and Reece won’t even discuss it with him. He’s happier to cast judgement on Will for shagging around – DESPITE THE FACT HE’S THE ONE WHO SUGGESTED IT IN THE FIRST PLACE! These dudes are the worst with Hale being incredibly passive and annoying – and Reece just generally being unbearable.
While I appreciate the premise of this film, I definitely expected it to be a lot more fun. Forgive me for expecting a movie with this central cast to be a witty sex comedy. Instead it was bleak and stupid. The ending is really frustrating – and I’m no fan of the cavalier and selfish way in which both Will and Anna treat the new people in their lives. Anna more so.
Permission does get points for being good looking, as is Rebecca Hall who is always head and shoulders above anyone else in her movies. It doesn’t give us the happy, sickly ending we were expecting (I was certainly expecting it), and I liked that even though I shouted at the screen because it was also kind of bitchy. I felt bad for one of the parties.
Gershon is a fucking gem, always and her divorcee Lydia was probably the most fun I had throughout. I can’t tell you how bored I was by the secondary “Waaaaah-can-we-have-a-baby” drams.
I don’t know, I’m not sure what the message is supposed to be: Good, healthy relationships are bad and boring, so nobody should have one? I’d say it should be: if it ain’t broken, don’t try to fix it but what do I know?
What did Jill think of this one? I think I know because we messaged back and forth about our mutual frustrations. But officially, would she dump this to bone other films or prefer to live monogamously for the rest of time? Find out here.
Jillian’s choice for our Free For All Fortnightand cor blimey it’s a good ‘un. If you like cocks, swearing, vomit, spit, shagging, cross dressing, cocaine and violence that is.
Luckily, I live for that shit!
All that really matters here is that I’m not watching If I Stay and being bored to tears so right away Filth has the upper hand. I’ve actually seen this film before but I don’t have to be asked twice to spend a few hours with Jame McAvoy, even if he is a git of the highest order here.
I’m a big Irvine Welsh fan but haven’t actually read the novel Filth yet, though it is on my shelf. I’m told it explains parts of the film much better than the film does, but I’ll have to reserve judgement until I actually pick it up. Getting into the way Irvine Welsh writes can sometimes seem like a chore, though once you’re there it is well worth it.
IMDB Synopsis: A corrupt, junkie cop with Borderline Personality Disorder attempts to manipulate his way through a promotion in order to win back his wife and daughter while also fighting his own borderline-fueled inner demons.
Bruce Robertson is a bit of a mess, truth be told. Junkie, corrupt, alcoholic, arsehole – any one of these words and more could be used to accurately describe our friend. Yet, he’s happily married with a child and being considered for a promotion, from Detective Sergeant to Inspector.
Quickly, however, it becomes apparent that things aren’t as they seem with this guy and that he’s suffering from a personality disorder. He’s not a nice person really, displaying all the traits of someone you would move heaven and earth to avoid (aka. my ex) yet, not everyone is onto Bruce yet.
Despite his secret campaign to bring down pretty much everyone he’s ever met, including his work colleagues (and competition), Bruce still has one true friend, Clifford Blades. This doesn’t make Bruce soft, however as he has a unique way to thank Clifford for his loyalty, and it ain’t flowers and chocolate.
The film begins with the unfortunate murder of a Japanese tourist, witnessed by a mystery blonde in a leopard print coat. The kids responsible for beating this poor boy to death are startled away when they realise they’ve been spotted.
Later, we find out this is the case Bruce is working on. The appearance of the glamorous blonde is significant as she bears more than a passing resemblance to Carole Robertson (Shauna Macdonald), Bruce’s wife. This may be the reason Bruce fails to mention her as their main witness to the rest of the team.
As Bruce and his colleagues start to look into the murder case, he starts to lose it big time, suffering from severe hallucinations, not helped by the copious amount of drugs and booze he’s consuming. Bruce is haunted not only by these terrifying illusions but it seems also by a small ghost boy called Davey. What’s that all about, hmmm?
Bruce is obviously a troubled soul who might not be worth saving but he’s obviously arrived at this place through a serious of tragedies. We soon learn Carole has left for another man and taken their daughter with her, leaving Bruce bereft. Can he get this promotion and win back his family? (Don’t worry, questions section to follow!).
In the midst of all this trauma, comes a sliver of hope in the form of Mary (Joanne Froggatt), a recently widowed young mother. Bruce was there when her partner suffered a heart attack in the street and tried to save his life – so Mary thinks Bruce is a good person.
I feel like I don’t want to give too much away on this film as it is a bit of a caper, leading you down, down, down to rock bottom and beyond. He makes prank phone calls to Clifford’s wife, Bunty (Shirley Henderson) then frames Clifford; steals, lies, cheats and manipulates until there’s nowhere else for him to go.
Let’s just say Bruce fucks over people without prejudice, has violently abusive relationships, shags everyone and hurts the people who care for him the most. Admittedly, this list of loved ones is dwindling quickly.
But where will he go from here and can he get any lower?
Want some questions? I got questions! Is there a good person at the core of Bruce? Will he get his family back, or will he start a fresh elsewhere? Will he ever make it up to adorable Clifford, the one true friend he has?
Will Clifford ever get a decent pair of spectacles? And will he ever get anywhere with his perpetually unimpressed bride?
Will Bruce pull it together and get the promotion, or at the very least will he solve the murder? Who’s the mystery blonde, and where can I get her coat?
Phew. This isn’t for the faint-hearted which is exactly why I liked it. I love James McAvoy and appreciate his diverse CV. I even fancied him in this which is pretty hard to do since he’s repugnant.
I must admit to watching this with redemption in mind, I mean most awful human beings in films (only films alas) end up redeeming themselves somehow, if not undergoing a complete moral turnaround. I can’t say if I was right to hope for this but I can say that I’d forgotten the ending until it started playing out again, and it hasn’t lost its impact.
BTW this film stars one of my all time favourite actors, Eddie Marsan who plays Clifford. He’s such a nuanced actor and recently moved me to near hysterics in a low-key film called Still Life (2013), which I really recommend.
All in all, I don’t have much bad to say other than a lot of things have happened to Bruce to make him who he is and it could get a bit all over the place if you weren’t paying attention. The surreal sessions he shares with his psychiatrist (Broadbent) get a little grating after a while.
Also, the bit I mentioned above that is elaborated on in the book (apparently) does not come through in the film at all.
My Rating: 4/5 (5/5 for Jame McAvoy, any day of the week)
What did Jill think? Pop on over for a look-see shortly!
After a week’s break, Jillian and I are back with a bang. A finger bang if you will.
I should say here if you don’t want to hear sexual talk from me then you should probably skip this post altogether as it’s going to be very hard not to sound crude whilst reviewing a very graphic film indeed. This week was my choice and we’re still in international waters, with a critically-acclaimed (?) German film.
As always *spoilers!* – also, let’s slap a little *NSFW* on here too, so you’re under no illusion.
IMDB Synopsis: The adventures of an eccentric girl who has strange attitudes towards hygiene and sexuality longs for the reunion of her divorced parents.
Underneath all the masturbation, dirty underwear and anal fixation lies a heart. A broken one, but a heart nonetheless.
Helen is 18 years old, sexually ‘creative’ and a little lax in the hygiene department. Considering her mother’s OTT attitude to orifice cleanliness this is hardly surprising. Having to present your butt hole for inspection before bed every night as a child must surely take its toll.
She also has hemorrhoids which presents its own challenges. We open with Helen walking barefoot into a public toilet that makes the loo in Trainspotting look like Mariah Carey’s en suite. It’s the kind of place people are regularly murdered but this doesn’t bother our heroine, who’s only there for the momentary relief offered by a tube of Anusol (or Germany’s version).
Helen immediately reveals herself to be a game girl with her own strong attitude towards sexuality and her own body. Reluctant to wash very often, she’s not afraid to recycle the same pair of knickers for who knows how long. This doesn’t scare away the boys; quite the opposite in fact, Helen believes her personal aroma attracts potential mates. She’s probably right there, we ain’t nothing but animals after all.
I’m going to try to avoid bullet-pointing every sexual act one by one because I don’t want this review to read like a list, but there’s plenty to be had here, something for everybody if you will. Though, despite the graphic nature of the film and its content, looking back I don’t remember that much full sex and I think that’s quite telling. Perhaps I’m over thinking it but I’m sure that’s a comment on our protagonist.
Anywhoo. There are scenes involving root vegetables (that GO BACK IN THE FRIDGE!), a brothel, lesbian undertones (and overtones), casual wanks in the park; the list goes on and on.
But what Helen wants more than sexy sex is for her parents to get back together. Like badly. Like so badly that she’s got a plan to force them to live together miserably in the same bed until they die, chained together like prisoners. Funnily enough, neither parent is really up for this arrangement, so it looks set to remain firmly in her fantasies.
We’re given lots of flashbacks that show Helen as a youngster, which act to give us a painful insight into the breakdown of her parent’s marriage. Helen’s father (Axel Milberg) is largely absent and sometimes hurts her without even registering it, while her mother (Meret Becker) comes across as a bit of cold fish, one who’s turned to Christianity and a round of douchey boyfriends since the divorce. She’s obviously deeply depressed and following the birth of her second child, Toni (Ludger Bökelmann), things don’t look any better.
One day Helen suffers a shaving injury that exacerbates her hemorrhoids issue and she has the option to either bleed all over her classroom or take herself to the hospital; luckily she chooses the latter. Here she formulates the plan to bring her parents back together over her sickbed – what could possibly go wrong?
Incidentally, one of Helen’s more adult flashbacks has us meeting Kanell (Selam Tadese), who has a shaving fantasy but considers Helen too young to actually sleep with. Admirable perhaps?
We also meet her best friend Corinne, a cute blonde who earns a reputation early on for granting her boyfriend a dubious sex wish. It doesn’t really matter what the Mean Girls say though, as long as our BFFs have each other.
Back to hospital and Helen has come round from surgery and is entertaining herself by flirting with Robin, her nurse, much to the annoyance of his girlfriend Valerie (Peri Baumeister), also a nurse.
And since her parents can’t follow instructions and turn up at the same designated time (thus continually missing each other), Helen pretends she hasn’t had a bowel movement (even though she does have a rather messy, secret one) so they keep her in. This ensures that she has plenty of time to ruminate on her internalised sadness, but also bond with Robin (who’s pretty damn cute, tbh).
We find out what really happened between her parents and also, how it came to be that Corinne hasn’t visited her bestie in hospital (spoiler: Helen has been kind of a bitch). There’s a particularly messy flashback in which our friends demonstrate their own unique version of the blood sisters ritual which is equal parts hilarious/heinous.
I’ll leave this here because it’s a film worth seeing, if you can get past the squirm factor. It’s both anally and orally fixated, unafraid to share bodily fluids and has more equal opportunity nudity than you can shake a stick at. I’m cool with all those things, though I had to look away during the pizza scene (which is probably one of the tamer but still turned my stomach).
Before we’re done though, Helen has one final trick up her gown. So she can stay in hospital to wait for her parents to meet, she makes the ultimate sacrifice and it’ll have you wincing for a long while after the credits stop rolling, I’m pretty sure.
Questions? Do you want some questions?! Will Mutter and Vater get back together? Will Robin ditch Valerie and run away with Helen? Will Helen ever put her orange pants in the wash? What happened between Helen and Corinne? And more importantly, will I ever look at a knob of raw ginger in the same way again?
You know the drill.
Jizz, poo, cum, spit, blood etc all gets a bit dull after a while and I do get the feeling a lot of the time that it’s only been included to shock me. I mean, I’m all for no holds barred film making and uncharacteristically disgusting (yet still aesthetically perfect, natch) female leads who challenge the stereotypical female trope.
Though, thinking about it, I don’t believe this is about me at all, this film is taking the piss out of the easily shocked, the viewers who have a problem with menstruation (men) and sexual debris. Which kind of makes it brilliant. It goes on about half an hour too long though and somehow seemed considerably longer than the whole of Nymphomaniac: Vol. I & Vol. II (2013), which, combined, is four fucking hours long.
Carla Juri btw could be the love child of Ally Sheedy and Meg Ryan; and is really very good. She does vulnerable kook well and in the end I’m sure you’ll root for her, even if her dream is misplaced and self-serving. Once you’re privy to just what the family went through, you can kind of forgive her.
Funny she’s so uncannily Sheedy, as the film’s climax is decidedly John Hughes. You know, if John Hughes made anal sex jokes.
My Rating: 3.5/5 – as above, it’s a bit too long and all gets a bit much. Well worth a look though.
What did Jillian think, I wonder? Go have a look for yourself shortly!
One of the first office jobs I took, when I was 21, was for an ‘adult’ mail order company. I’d just returned from getting my heart broken in a foreign land (Australia) and swore in the interview, which apparently made me a hot commodity because I was hired on the spot.
A little background: at this age I was still naïve and fairly innocent. The Australian Period was where I learned about sex, myself and the annihilation of the heart and soul. I returned a grown woman in my head but in reality I was still a baby, wet behind the ears.
My job at the ‘Porn Shop’ as it became known took care of any innocence I still had. Named after one of the more cheerful garden varieties (the common or garden Daisy), it was run by a couple who made the Brady parents look like Fred and Rosemary West. They were just so posh and nice.
Behind the façade, however, they had their fingers firmly on the pulse of what was big in the ‘adult’ world and as their Office Assistant, I quickly learnt too.
Of a morning I would come into the office and pack up orders for our customers, seeing way more than my fair share of swollen members before I’d even had my morning cup of tea.
I learnt about piercings in unique orifices, Japanese manga porn (Hentai, if you wanna know); bondage. I discovered The Marquis; Nin and The Story of O; read stories about bestiality that have never really left me (one in particular stands out, of relations between a woman and Silverback Gorilla). I saw a lot and in all that time I stopped thinking about finding a boyfriend because frankly, that much exposure of the carnal kind can kind of put you off.
Daisy’s speciality, their pièce de résistance, was corporal punishment. To me this seemed like the tamest of tame compared to what the Scandinavians were doing, but it was a big seller.
I only left the job when I decided to move to Brighton with my best friend. This coincided with my boss’ decision to start filming porn in the cavernous vaults of the old bank building our office was located within. I drew a line that day. Happy to read it, happy to pack it, happy even to speak to customers and take their orders but don’t make me stand on set while you film it. I shudder to think what my role would have been: half time orange slice, anyone?
Years later my lovely friend P took a job at an adult wholesaler and I found myself once again back on the side of sex. I’d do what I could to help out: review toys, write product descriptions. For a short time I maintained a problem page (think Dear Deidre with Dildos), even tried my hand at erotic fiction. The consensus on that was that it was supposed to be sexy, not funny – and all my romantic heroines were clumsy redheads.
(Note: romantic heroines).
Boxes of the industry’s most innovative products would turn up on my doorstep on a regular basis with my name on it. To most this would have been the stuff of dreams but they came during the height of my loveless and (mostly) sexless relationship and the last thing I wanted to do was ‘spice things up’. So I’d make it all up. I’d give it to my randier friends and get them to tell me about it. I’d hold items in my hands and daydream I was a sexier being. It’s amazing what you can come up with with a little imagination.
I did this for a couple of years. I was pretty good if truth be told. I’d do it again, I tell you.
My lovely mother, during both of these ‘assignments’, was equal parts horrified and delighted. You can’t spend an evening rifling through a box of butt plugs with your daughter and not get carried away in the hilarity of the situation, it’s nigh on impossible. I also used to photocopy amusing/shocking (to me) pictures and give them to Mum and she’d feign being appalled but we all know she showed her friends and colleagues. My daughter the Porn Baron.
What I learnt from both jobs is that now I can talk about anything. Nothing sexual is taboo really and I like that about myself. It means I know how to handle myself when one of my friends asks me (loudly) if I’m a squirter in a pub full of peers.
Sex isn’t all that mysterious, in the end. I may personally never feel the need to dress like a baby or allow myself to be hog-tied but I understand why people do what they do. Let them do it, I’ll be over here being the klutzy heroine in my own story.
Welcome to the next instalment of Jillian & Christa’s Great BlogCollab 2015. By now you know the drill; Jill and I take turns picking a film, usually something tasteless and horrible (certainly on my part) and then we both review it.
It’s the cyber version of actually being able to hang out and snark together; and it’s a lot of fun. It also encourages us both to regularly blog and broaden our horizons artistically (she says, picking yet another horror film). Anyway, I love this series and I hope it reigns for a long time.
And now it’s time for this week’s pick, my choice. I know this isn’t a playground and there aren’t any kids here but I still feel the need to slap on the following disclaimer:
*Film contains A LOT OF SEX, NUDITY and VIOLENCE so if you’re looking for something a little more sedate, this might not be the movie for you. PS. SPOILER ALERTS!*
Nurse (2013) (It seems this film was adapted for 3-D which is bizarre but anyway, I didn’t watch it that way, so it’s plain old Nurse to me).
Where to Watch:
By day, Abby Russell is a dedicated nurse, but by night, she lures cheating men to their brutal deaths and exposes them for who they really are. (Via IMDB). ~ Right? Cheating men begone!
We open with a statistic about the high proportion of murders committed within the medical profession. I didn’t note it down and I’m not sure if it’s true.
Skip to some jaunty Latin flavoured music (which I would totes dance to) and our first sighting of Paz de la Huerta as Abby Russell, the titular (literally) Nurse. She’s a vision in leather and lace, and let’s just get it out there now, this woman was blessed with a behind that could incite riots. Which is handy as she uses it a lot. And damn straight, I would too.
Abby is all tousled curls, come to bed eyes and pillowy lips. She narrates her own story throughout and her opening scene is accompanied by an introduction: “I look like a slut but don’t be fooled.” (I may paraphrase).
Right. Cool. Well, there’ll be no slut shaming here, Abs. It’s all good. Abby explains that she’s on the hunt for cheaters or “lying, married scum” who pray on “innocent vaginas”. She rounds this off with the wonderful line, “There is no cure. Only me: the Nurse.”
Abby lures a married man from the bar to the roof where she teases him about his family, flicking through his wallet and addressing the family photos within. She proceeds to slice his femoral artery, under the guise of a quick blowie which disappoints him. She explains that he will bleed to death within minutes if he doesn’t do something soon. In the end she suggests, rather than take the stairs, he should choose the quick way down. Let’s just say, it’s very quick and doesn’t involve the elevator. (SPLAT!).
That’s our rather gruesome introduction to Nurse Abby, but we are soon treated to her nurturing side, Nurse of the Month Abby Russell. Senior nurse. Mentor. She quickly introduces her newbie, Danni Rogers (30 Rock’s Katrina Bowden), explaining that this is “Our story”.
Danni is graduating. As Kathleen Turner explains (in the briefest of brief cameos), she is to become one the Angels of Mercy at All Saints Hospital. Danni is beside herself, excitedly hugging her mother after the ceremony. Abby approaches and is introduced to Danni’s mum and her step dad, Larry, who is somewhat brittle (there’s a story there, ooooh!). She also meets Danni’s boyfriend, Steve who’s a paramedic much to Abby’s disdain.
Steve is pressuring Danni to move in but something is stopping her. Later on there is a terribly injured patient brought into All Saints and Danni freezes at the scene. As a result she is bollocked by Doctor Morris (Judd Nelson) and told to get out if she can’t handle the pace. Abby overhears the rollicking and wants to comfort Danni. Later, in the locker room Abby and Danni talk about it, and Abby explains that she’ll get there eventually. They decide to grab drinks after Abby has showered.
On the way to the bar, they spot Danni’s step dad with another woman, outside a restaurant. Danni confronts him as he was supposed to be at a conference in Boston, not flaunting his cheating ways on the town (oh dear, Larry). Abs n’ Dan go to the club where they quickly get effed up on shots. A man joins the girls on the dance floor where they are frolicking together happily and they all get frisky together. All this debauchery is caught on Abby’s camera (rookie mistake, Danni!). We also note that the cocktail glass Danni is drinking from has a grainy residue stuck to the bottom… suspect.
The next morning Danni wakes up in Abby’s bed with a very naked Abby. She hotfoots it out of there quite quickly which does not go unmissed by Abby who had envisaged a day of fun for them both, if only Danni is willing to call in sick. She is unimpressed that Danni just wants to forget what happened, and pretend she hasn’t just cheated on Steve, even though she isn’t really sure what happened, or with whom. Special props to Paz de la Huerta’s waxer who does a bang up job keeping her lady garden in check. I hope he/she got a credit in the end titles.
Abby bumps into her neighbour on her way out and they chat. Jared is a real sweetie, genuinely concerned for Abby’s safety when she ventures out at night. She tells him she’ll be fine. She heads to see Larry, Danni’s step father who is a renowned psychiatrist. She tells him she has an addiction to men and he takes it that she’s a sex addict. Larry likes what he sees clearly as he hands over his cell phone number without much persuasion.
As with most of these reviews, I’m going to lay off the descriptives from now so as not to go on too much. Danni is back at work, and Dr Morris, who shouted at her before is impressed with her work since. He pats her on the arse then rubs himself against her later. He’s a disgusting pig who obviously attended the Benny Hill Medical School. Steve sends Danni flowers as they had rowed before her night out with Abby.
Abby is jealous and admits to the viewer (us), by way of her narration, that she had sex with Danni (‘cept she puts it in far filthier terms). Later, she gives Danni a key to let herself into her apartment if she ever needs time alone. Danni is upset as she doesn’t like leaving her mother alone with Larry. Danni lost her father and the two bond over that as Abby too has lost hers.
Abby by the way has a snake tattoo on her leg that I love. I saw one like it on a waitress in our local Mexican restaurant and I want one just like it. Anywhoo.
Abby goes to see Larry and seduces him into getting off with her. They park in an alleyway and she ties him up (bondage with a stranger = never a great idea), before injecting him with a paralyzing agent (incidentally, the same drug Abby has asked Danny to check out earlier that day from the pharmacy). Abby lets the handbrake of the car off (once she’s stepped out of course) and it wheels into oncoming traffic, killing Larry. Bah-bye Larry!
When she gets home Danni is waiting and they hug it out. Danni explains that Larry has been killed. They start talking about Steve and argue as Danni tells Abby she is going to move in with him. Danni is freaked out by the jealous tone Abby uses and leaves. As she’s leaving Abby tells her that she hopes Larry’s dick was cut off when he flew through the windshield. Danni knows she never told Abby how Larry was killed… Oh Abby, sloppy work!
At Larry’s funeral, Danni is approached by a hot cop who looks like The Rock and questioned lightly. She’d just seen him talking to Abby and confronts her as to why. Abby admits she’d been seeing Larry as a patient and he had meant a lot to her.
A new HR Director turns up called Rachel. She’s über enthusiastic and annoys everyone with her perpetual great mood and smiley face stickers. She meets Abby and immediately recognises her from somewhere. She tells her that she’s the spitting image of her childhood next door neighbour, Sarah, who ended up in an institution. Luckily for us, Danni is eavedropping. Abby is unimpressed with the comparison and denies it. Oh yes, and while we are introduced to Rachel’s character, Danni receives an email with the photos from ‘that night’ attached, including one of her doing it with a strange man.
Later Abby and Rachel go for drinks, calling Danni on the way to see if she wants to join. She declines. Danni gets to Steve’s just in time to intercept another email of the photographs. She deletes them in the nick of time. Danni tries to talk to Steve about all of this but he’s on his way out. They agree to continue their conversation later.
In the middle of the night, Danni receives a Skype call from Rachel. Abby is in the background, with a huge syringe. Danni shouts at Rachel to look behind her, but Rachel has obviously never seen a pantomime and doesn’t take direction well, plus she’s hammered. Abby injects Rachel knocking her out. The call ends.
Danni rings the police, sending them to Abby’s apartment. Once she’s hung up, Abby Skypes Danni back and says that Rachel was being nosy. It looks like Rachel’s toast.
Skip on a bit, Dan goes to the cops where she sees Abby talking to The Rock. The Rock tells Danni to stay away from Abby, as she has been stalking her (!). Oh yes plus The Rock has the pictures of Danni shagging Abby and Steve is none too thrilled that she’s been cheating on him, riding off in a strop.
Danni has nowhere to turn but Pervy Doctor Morris. Rachel, meanwhile, turns up and she’s fine, though she is still suspicious, Googling Sarah Price as she nurses her hangover (or worse) from the night before. Before she can uncover anything about Sarah/Abby, she is strangled from behind…
Danni goes to Sunnyview, the institution Sarah/Abby was in and uncovers interesting details about Sarah/Abby’s past. I’ll let you work these out for yourself but let’s just say, she has a checkered past.
Doctor Morris tells Abby there’s been a complaint about her. He says he might need to look into it further or she can do something to change his perspective on her. FYI he’s not talking about interpretive dance or knitting him a nice scarf. Abby says they should go somewhere to talk. In the morgue (romantic), Doctor Morris is punished by a pantless Abby. He’s a cheater you see so fits her criteria and she’s probably knickerless because it’s practical.
Danni works out that something is afoot when she tries to call Rachel and Rachel’s phone turns up in the boot of her car. Oh yeah and The Rock is shagging Abby, which is convenient for her. On discovering the phone, Danni heads to All Saints where she has a bitch fight with Abby in the hallway. Shit kicks off spectacularly right about here and it’s a bloodbath, Sir.
Amidst all the carnage, Abby escapes. She goes home to grab a bag (totally unnoticed despite being naked and drenched in blood) but is confronted by The Rock who has come round to Danni’s way of thinking after doing a little bit of digging of his own (not a euphemism). Luckily, lovely neighbour Jared is there to protect her, thinking The Rock is a mugger. Sweet sweet Jared. He pops The Rock, and then Abby convinces him to take care of it. Which he does, dragging the body away to, the body disposal unit just around the block?
Later, Abby turns up in a new city, which looks like Miami or somewhere kind of tropical, and walks jauntily into a new hospital , introducing herself as Rachel Owen, new HR Director…
Wow. This isn’t for the fainthearted. It’s completely crazy and very camp. Paz, god love her, is wonderfully breathy as Abby, a super charged femme fatale on a mission. I do kind of feel for her and love her brand of vigilante justice (only in a fantasy setting, obvs. I don’t condone murders IRL).
It’s all just a bit of a man’s wet dream; sexy nurses a go go and doctors shagging like young bucks. At least what they’re doing isn’t consequence free. It’s all good fun, isn’t it? Not one to take seriously by any stretch, you can just sit back and enjoy the ride. Abby certainly is.
I’m not a massive fan of torture porn, to be honest, unless it has a tongue in cheek quality and this was certainly witty in places. Some of the supporting characters are hilarious, including Rachel and sassy fellow nurse, Regina. I hate that Judd Nelson plays such a horrible pig, it’s definitely put into question my teenage crush on Breakfast Club Judd but all in all, I had fun.
4 saucy nurses out of 5
Nip over to Jillian’s shortly to see what she thought!
I’ve thought long and hard (giggle) about this review for some reason and I don’t really know why. I think it’s because reviews of crappy films often annoy me.
I mean, the rule doesn’t necessarily apply here in exactly the same way but with a film such as The Expendables, for instance, there is always so much huff and puff about how it’s light on plot/the dialogue is shit/acting not up to much and I think, well duh but it’s fun, isn’t it? Is this not why we are here? (In style of Maximus Decimus Crowe).
With this in mind, I’m not going to tear this film a new one just because it’s inspired by a very badly written trilogy of books, about a frankly iffy relationship. I had a lot of fun with my movie date and passed through a range of emotions during the viewing, including: embarrassment, mirth, bemusement, rage and indifference.
I didn’t like the books but I read them anyway, so I had a point of reference when people talked about them. Wanting to be part of it is why I went to see the film, and because I wanted to see how it’s director, Sam Taylor-Johnson had adapted it, even with the input of E.L. James.
Let’s quickly do the negatives: This film is by no stretch the worst I’ve ever seen but it does have a TV Movie vibe about it. The acting is okay, borderline wooden at times. I think Dakota Johnson is quite likeable, despite being a bit of a caricature of ‘sexy’ with her breathy voice and big eyes. Jamie Dornan really doesn’t do it for me and I just don’t think there’s anything stand out about his performance, though they both do what they can with what they’ve got.
The dialogue is terrible, mainly because James is a truly horrible writer and it seems as though Taylor-Johnson lost the battle to refine it. At least we’re spared the whole ‘inner goddess’ schtick though, which is a massive Pro and should go on the positives list.
The sex scenes are a lot saucier than I expected, which probably sounds like a ridonkulous thing to say about a film about BDSM but I know what I mean. I was reassured by the fact that it was actually quite sexual, I thought it would be pseudo-sexy but somehow decidedly innocent. They actually do fuck, which is nice.
Over the next few weeks I’ll be taking a trip down memory lane with some of the books I loved as a child and teenager. I thought it would be interesting to revisit the themes of the day and relate them to life now.
Just holding these two books in my hands takes me back to the girl I used to be (and still am at heart), though I am slightly dismayed that the covers aren’t the same as the ones I had, and the ones advertised on eBay. Still, it’s the content that matters.
Watch this space as I review these two Judy Blume classics as an adult and ponder why they meant so much back then.
It’s 1990. Johanna Morrigan, fourteen, has shamed herself so badly on local TV that she decides that there’s no point in being Johanna anymore and reinvents herself as Dolly Wilde—fast-talking, hard-drinking gothic hero and full-time Lady Sex Adventurer. She will save her poverty-stricken Bohemian family by becoming a writer—like Jo in Little Women, or the Brontës—but without the dying-young bit.
Blah blah blah.
I found this review really hard to write, moaning to Hannah of Hannah Reads Stuff on Twitter to the same effect. She asked me what my initial reaction was and I can say, truthfully, that when I started to think about my review, I hadn’t even finished the book.
I know, odd to start constructing a verdict when you’re part way through the text, but I’m weird like that. I like to think ahead about blog posts, if not other things in my life, alright?
So I answered honestly (my opinion there and then), in under 140 characters:
I liked it but Johanna annoys me. Bit try hard in the humour stakes and maybe the sex bits.
Which is how I felt.
See how I am alluding to the fact that I’m done reading in my response? (Sorry Han). When I wrote that, I was a couple of chapters from the end but assumed (correctly as it goes) that I would finish it slightly underwhelmed but overall happy to have read it.
And now I am finished, that’s it, more or less. However, I really feel as though the book took a turn that irritated me.
In fact, in the Acknowledgements page, Moran suggests that she struggled to finish the book and had to be talked down from a ledge more than once by a patient and caring (I would imagine) saint of a friend.
I think if I sat down and spoke to her about this, I would be able to correctly pinpoint the moment the tone (and quality) changed, because she was floundering. You know, because I’m the expert at writing and all.
Anyway, I can’t go into the bits that peeved me for fear of ruining it for other readers (and boy, a lot of my friends are all over this book, or about to be).
I can say that fourteen year old Johanna is likeable for a moment but gets old quick. By the time she is a fully fledged ‘Swashfuckler’, I just wanted to scream “Shut up shut up shut up” at the page.
Johanna, or ‘Dolly Wilde’ is too much of a cliché (then weren’t we all back then?) and a bit of a dick. She realises this herself eventually (ooh spoiler) but the lesson she learns as the ending comes into view feels a little tacked on. She’s so pretentious (and I like a bit of that sometimes) that I simply don’t care if she makes it or not. (And of course she does!)
On a more positive note, I liked her older brother, Krissi (though his dialogue is overwrought with pretension), liked the family and I liked John Kite. I also approve of the sex talk to a point because sex talk is my favourite. It is good to read a book that doesn’t mind talking about masturbation and f**king, had I read this book as a teen I may have been a lot more sexual with myself (and others? Probably not).
But again, as Dolly gains more experience it becomes, somehow, more boring. We get it, you’re shagging. Nice one. Stop saying ‘c*nt’ just to shock me, it doesn’t, it’s just jarring now.
Am I glad I read it? Yes. Does it hold up against How To Be a Woman? Nope, but then can you compare a book of essays on Feminism to a novel about an annoying teenager? This is fiction right?
There lies my issue. I think I fell out of love with Caitlin Moran a while back. She trumpeted into my life like a goddess and made me fist pump with glee when I read HTBAW. Then she got annoying, came off as showoffy and a little bit smug and my problem with Johanna is that I can’t think of her as not Moran.
She is obviously writing about what she knows and I would be doing exactly the same thing if I were to write a novel, I’m sure but my inability to disassociate has obviously tainted my overall experience. I think that says more about the author than me though.
I’m glad I’ve read it and I will probably read more Caitlin Moran, but I might stick to the essays and avoid spending too much time in her company. She’s like the friend we all have who is fun because she’s loud and funny (sometimes) but gets on your wick after ten minutes.