Whipped review

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After the self-conscious feel badness of such cinematic flops as Very Bad Things and The Last Supper, you'd have thought film-makers would realise that a little sympathy goes a long way. But then, wannabe LaButes like first-time writer/director Peter M Cohen no doubt feel that making even one character vaguely likeable wouldn't be "edgy" enough.

In Whipped (as in: pussy...), the men treat the women like shit, the women treat the men like shit and you'll most likely leave the cinema feeling like shit. Relationships are about sex rather than love, deception rather than connection, while the film's sole married character, Eric (Judah Domke), is a pariah who complains that the only enjoyment he gets out of life is escaping his battle-axe wife and living vicariously through his buddies' beaver patrol reports.

Perhaps if Cohen had some decent actors on board, or handled his based-on-real-life-friends anecdotal material better, he could have gotten away with it. There's the potential for a good joke in almost every scene, but it's always wasted. One story, for example, involves a blow job that goes on for too long.

But we're not talking a half-hour too long here, we're talking five hours, with the incident `amusingly' revealed via flashback as bored fellatee Brad (Brian Van Holt) is shown ordering, taking delivery of, and eating a pizza while a girlie gobbles on his gonads. A scene, surely, more worthy of comparison with the Confessions Of... flicks than anything dreamed up by Neil LaBute.

Cohen obviously believes he's shocking us with the truth about sex, but he's not. What he's actually doing is trying to shock us with the bullshit about sex - all the clichéd bar-room brags and lunch-table bitches (because, y'know, women can be even dirtier than men!). Which isn't big, or clever, or funny.

A misconceived, misguided and misogynistic attempt to prove that women can be as bad and manipulative as men when it comes to relationships. Wank jokes, fuck jokes, poo jokes and vibrator jokes abound, but for every smirk elicited, there're about 10 sneers.

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