Love, Sex & Eating The Bones




ThinkFilm/Velocity Home Entertainment

Written and Directed by David “Sudz” Sutherland

Produced by Jennifer Holness

Watching movies recommended to you by your friends is always a tricky proposition, isn’t it? Mainly because people are so passionate about their movies that if they recommend one to you and you don’t like it they are truly and honestly upset about it. It’s almost as if by saying you don’t like their choice of movies, you’re rejecting them.

Of course, if you’re as open-minded as me, you pretty much roll with it and just sit back and determine to be completely and totally objective about a recommendation. Even when it’s a romantic comedy, not my favorite movie genre, I assure you. But LOVE, SEX & EATING THE BONES got my attention for three reasons: first, it’s a romantic comedy with a primarily black cast. Second, it’s set in Toronto and I was highly curious to see if the movie would provide me with insight into African-Canadian culture. And third, it stars Hill Harper, an exceptional actor who I’ve seen in movies for years and years now and never seems to have hit upon that one breakout movie that will make him a star. This is truly a shame because I’ve never seen him in a movie where I didn’t enjoy his performance and I greatly enjoyed his performance in this movie as well.


Michael Joseph (Hill Harper) is an aspiring photographer making ends meet by working as a security guard in a parking garage. It’s not a bad job. The work isn’t demanding and he mainly hangs out with his co-workers/best buds Sweets (Mark Taylor) and Kennedy (Ed Robertson of Barenaked Ladies) Since his job is so undemanding he’s got plenty of time for his two true passions in life: his photography and his pornography.

Yep, you read that right. Michael is a full tilt boogie porn addict. He’s got stacks and stacks of porn tapes in his apartment and his particular porn star obsession of Amazonian proportions named Lisette (Meriaka Weathered) who he fantasizes about while he’s uh…ahem…harrumph….cough cough.


He doesn’t see his porn addiction as a problem until he starts dating the gorgeous and stylish marketing executive Jasmine LeJeune (Marlyne Afflack) who coming off a long period of celibacy and is looking to make up for lost time. They date and there’s an honest connection there. This makes it all the more surprising for them and hilarious for us when Michael is unable to perform in the bedroom. In fact, unless he’s watching porn, his soldier refuses to stand to attention at all.

It also doesn’t help that Jasmine’s sister Peaches (Kai Soremekun) is aware of Michael’s porn addiction since in one of those coincidences that romantic comedies couldn’t exist without, she works in Michael’s favorite XXX video palace.

Can Michael overcome his porn addiction and make this relationship with Jasmine work? Or will he be lured to the dark side when he wins a contest where the prize is being in a sex scene with Lisette?


Trust me when I say that LOVE, SEX & EATING THE BONES is not as sleazy as it sounds. Oh, it’s got its raunchy moments, I don’t deny that. But the porn scenes are played more as a parody of the genre that anything else. The true meat of the movie is Michael’s dealing with his porn addiction and how it got such a hold on him. What helps us sympathize with his character is that Michael honestly is a nice guy. He’s extremely respectful towards all the women we see him encounter. Even Peaches, who since he doesn’t drive a Bentley and have a six figure bank account she takes an immediate dislike to him and tries her best to jam him up every chance she gets.

The movie even takes a soft turn into psychodrama as when Michael mind starts to mix up his fantasy woman and his real woman. And I think it was an inspired move on the part of writer/director Suzd Sutherland to have this rich golden glow emanate from Michael’s portfolio of pictures whenever somebody opens it up to look at his work instead of showing actual photographs. It’s the best way to visualize Michael’s work as being magical. There’s a really lovely scene where Jasmine looks in the portfolio for the first time and as the golden glow plays over her face and she smiles we can tell exactly what she’s feeling.

Hill Harper and Marlyne Afflack share the acting honors in this one. They have a genuine rapport and charm with each other that is so unforced and so natural I got caught up in the story before I knew it. The rest of the cast does exactly what the supporting cast in a romantic comedy is supposed to do: they circle the leads and comment on the action, offering advice that isn’t needed or wanted but provide us with a lot of laughs.

LOVE, SEX & EATING THE BONES most certainly isn’t your conventional, paint-by-the-numbers American made romantic comedy and its refusal to be conventional is 50% of its appeal. The other 50% is the setting and the strong performances of the talented cast. Highly Recommended.

LOVE, SEX & EATING THE BONES is currently available to watch on

100 Minutes

Rated R



Love & Sex



Lions Gate

Directed and Written by Valerie Breiman

Produced by Martin J. Barab, Darris Hatch and Brad Wyman

Either I’m getting old, soft in the head or just downright developing a conscience. That’s the only thing that can explain my sitting down to actually watch a romantic comedy. And on top of that, liking it a whole lot more than I thought I would. But I’ll be upfront here; the leads are played by Famke Janssen and Jon Favreau. Famke Janssen you’ll know for two outstanding movie characters. She was one of James Bond’s more memorable villains; the beautiful Xenia Onatopp in “GoldenEye” who delighted in squeezing men to death between her thighs while having sex. And she played the telepathic/telekinetic mutant superhero Jean Gray in the “X-Men” movies. Jon Favreau has made quite the reputation for himself as a dependable and extremely talented actor/director. Everybody knows him from his roles in “Swingers” and “Made” and he directed the megahits “Iron Man” and “Iron Man 2.” So it was more my curiosity in seeing just what the two of them were doing in a romantic comedy more than anything else that led me to check out LOVE & SEX.

Kate Welles (Famke Janssen) is a writer for the magazine ‘Monique’ and she’s suffering a creative crisis. She’s supposed to write an article about how to find and fall in love with the right man. A perky, happy article. The best she can come up with is 2500 words comparing romantic relationships to blow jobs. In her words: “It’s only the suckee that benefits. The sucker is left depressed.” Her editor doesn’t want to hear it and says if Kate can’t come up with something a tad more cheerfully readable by 5PM, she’s fired. Kate’s struggle to write the article triggers her memories of her past relationships that we’re allowed to share.


The relationship that really matters is the one she had with Adam Levy (Jon Favreau) an artist of decidedly bizarre talent. One of his paintings depicts a bleeding woman pulling a severed head out of her ass. And that’s one of his milder pieces. But Kate is attracted to him right off and they begin a truly touching and funny relationship that had me chuckling all throughout the movie and even laughing out loud several times. It’s love at first sight for the both of them but can it last? The movie is told through Kate’s eyes and she’s just as hard on herself as she is on Adam. They’re great together but both of them become too obsessed with wondering if they’ll still be madly in love with each other years from now. It struck me halfway through this movie that Adam and Kate are like a lot of people I know: they worry way too much about if they’re still going to be in love twenty-five years from now instead of enjoying being in love today.

I like Famke Janssen a lot in this movie. She’s not all glamorously gorgeous here. She looks like most women I see during the day walking down the street. Her character is remarkably open and casual about her past sexual experimentation and freely admits to Adam she’s had 13 lovers in the past. Adam only having had two partners naturally feels inadequate. And despite what Adam says she refuses to apologize or made to feel slutty because of her choices. She realizes she uses sex to make herself feel better because she’s so desperately afraid of being alone but that’s her choice and she stands by it. Jon Favreau’s Adam is a character equally as quirky and interesting as Janssen’s. I really liked the scene where he shows he’s a standup guy when Kate tells him she’s pregnant and his actions during a later tragedy are quietly moving.

But eventually the breakup comes. Adam and Kate go their separate ways for a time to try and find out if they’re really in love or not. The funniest part of this sequence comes from Kate’s dating action movie star Joey Santino (Josh Hopkins) who just happens to be one of Adam’s favorite actors. The sex is great with Joey but he’s got about as much brainpower as a head of cabbage. Kate tells him that he “just doesn’t get it.” Joey shrugs and goes one with life. He’s happy that he doesn’t get it. He’s content to live life for today. Kate worries about the fact that everybody today is going to die and nobody is going to remember them because everybody else is going to die.

It’s sequences like that in LOVE & SEX that reminded me a lot of Woody Allen’s work during the 1980’s. Famke Janssen’s character could easily be a female version of the neurotic persona Allen honed and perfected during that period. And both she and Jon Favreau are obviously having a fun time with the sharp dialog. It’s a nice little movie. Unpretentious and it doesn’t try to be the tearjerker of all time. And it’s nowhere near as predictable as other romantic comedies I’ve seen. It’s concerned more with telling a good story about some interesting characters instead being impressed with its own cuteness. LOVE & SEX is a movie I’m pleased to recommend as a more than satisfying Friday or Saturday night rental for you and your significant other. I think you’ll be as charmed by it as I was. It’s intelligent, funny and has its own unique heart. Enjoy.


82 minutes

Rated R: for language and sexual situations. The f-word is thrown around a lot as well as other sexual slang so be warned.

Same Time, Next Year

Same Time Next Year


Universal Pictures

Directed by Robert Mulligan

Produced by Walter Mirisch and Morton Gottlieb

Written by Bernard Slade based on his play

Romantic comedies are most definitely not my favorite genre of movie when I sit down to be entertained by a movie.  I’d rather go get a tooth pulled than have to sit through anything resembling a romantic comedy because when you talk about predictable story and overwrought acting, that’s the genre that specializes in that kinda stuff.  But even a stone-hearted boor such as myself has to admit that there have been a couple of movies in the genre that I have managed to sit through mainly because they’re somewhat different from the usual romantic comedy in terms of story and acting I submit for your approval SAME TIME, NEXT YEAR

George (Alan Alda) and Doris (Ellen Burstyn) are staying separately at the same California resort inn on the Monterey coast one weekend in 1951.  He’s there on business to do the taxes for a client who owns a winery and she’s there because her husband and her kids are visiting her mother-in-law and the mother-in-law cannot stand Doris who she thinks tricked her son into getting married. So Doris tells her husband she’s going to a Catholic retreat so he won’t worry about her being alone.  One night George and Doris are the only ones having dinner in the inn’s main dining room.  They look up, their eyes meet, they smile and before they know it, they’re having dessert and coffee and they talk.  And talk.  And talk.  And before they know it, it’s the next day, they’re waking up in each other’s arms and they’re in love.


Neither one of them wants to leave their spouses.  They both have responsibilities to their children and the people they have back home.  So they hit on a novel arraignment: every year on the same weekend they’ll stay at the same inn in the same room and spend a weekend together.  And it’s an arraignment that lasts for 26 years through laughter, tragedy, good times and bad.

Now some might question the morality of this arraignment and see it as an endorsement of adultery.  And certainly George and Doris never even bring up the question of not starting the affair or breaking it up at any time during the movie.  And as we never see their spouses (we get to know them through the stories George and Doris tell) we can’t judge how those relationships are.  George and Doris appear to be happy and secure in their marriages and they don’t have a reason to be cheating.  But I think the movie is trying to show two people who if they had met under the right circumstances could have married and had an extremely happy and satisfying life together.  It’s like that old song says: “It’s sad to belong to someone else when the right one comes along.”

During the course of the movie we see how the couple grow and develop along with the changing attitudes of the country.  Doris goes from being a somewhat naïve suburban housewife to anti-Vietnam War protestor /middle-aged college student to sharp and confident businesswoman.  George starts out as a high strung, neurotic accountant who is comically unsure of himself, goes to 70’s therapy addict and finally ends up as a mature adult man who is able to see himself for what he is, deal with it and be happy.   It’s quite a range for both of the actors as they’re on screen every minute of the movie.  It was based on a play and the movie is virtually like a play since except for a few brief scenes that take place in the inn’s dining room and outside the cabin they stay in, the whole movie takes place indoors with just the two characters talking.


Alan Alda’s performance at the beginning of the movie is the one thing that might make you want to stop watching the movie.  He really overacts badly during the scenes where Doris is having a baby and (no, it’s not his) and for a brief few minutes turns the movie from light romantic comedy to almost Jerry Lewis style nuttiness.  He’s much better in the later scenes where he’s playing an older, more sedate George, especially during a painful scene where George has to tell Doris why he has changed from a happy-go-lucky liberal democrat to an almost fascist, bitter Republican.

Ellen Burstyn is clearly the better actor of the two and she knows how to play this material for all it’s worth due to her experience in Neil Simon comedies as well as having done this play on Broadway and one of the best things about the movie is watching her character grow and develop.  It’s almost a history lesson on the woman’s movement from the 1950’s to the 1970’s watching Doris change fashions and attitudes.

SAME TIME, NEXT YEAR doesn’t have what I would call a conclusion.  Instead it has a resolution that some might find unbearably corny but I thought fitted the tone of the movie just right and was the only way that these two characters could have ended up.  It’s a sweet little movie that I think is probably closer in realism to how a lot of married people conduct affairs rather than the cutesy-poo convoluted over plotting of most romantic comedies.  The actors are good, the characters are likeable and I have to admit that by the ending credits when the theme song by Johnny Mathis and Jane Oliver swelled into full sentimental mode I found myself pretending I had something in my eye.

Rated PG

119 minutes















The Seat Filler


Magnolia Home Entertainment

Directed by Nick Castle

Executive Producers: Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith

Produced by Nia Hill-Duane Martin-D’Angela Steed

Written by Mark Brown-Duane Martin-Tisha Campbell-Brown

One of the best things about watching movies with my wife Patricia is the unpredictability of what she’ll pick for us to watch.  She’s not as snobbish about movies as I can be and will watch a movie she knows nothing about, has no idea who the director is, who wrote it, who the cinematographer is.  She just goes with her gut and says; “let’s watch this.”

Now in the case of THE SEAT FILLER you would most likely take it as a given that we watched it because it’s a romantic comedy with a predominately black cast.  And in this case, you’d be wrong.  ‘Cause if you’ve been hanging around me for any length of time you know that romantic comedies are on the bottom of my list when it comes to movie preferences and I don’t much care who’s in it.  But Patricia was intrigued by the title and asked me what a seat filler was.  After I explained the job of a seat filler, she wanted to see it.  And just in case anybody out there doesn’t know what a seat filler is, attend: seat fillers are hired to occupy empty seats vacated by celebrities at major award shows.  The purpose is to give the folks watching the event at home the impression that the audience is full.

I figured that any movie that provides me with the opportunity to ogle Kelly Rowland for 90 minutes with the permission of the wife can’t be all bad so I settled in.  And you know what?  At the end of those 90 minutes I had a pleased smile on my face as I ended up liking the movie a lot more than I thought I would.

Derrick Harver (Duane Martin) is a young, good-looking guy determined to make his dream of becoming a lawyer come true.  To pick up some extra money in order to continue his studies and help out his family, he takes a job as a seat filler along with his best friend/roommate E.J. (DeRay Davis).  It’s a steady gig since he lives in Hollywood and the movie’s main running gag is that there’s always some award show going on.

The number one rule of seat filling is to Never Talk To Celebrities.  But Derrick can’t help himself when the gorgeous up-and-coming pop singer Jhnelle (Kelly Rowland) is seated next to him.  They hit it off almost immediately and Jhnelle quite naturally assumes the tuxedoed, well-mannered, funny and charming Derrick is also a celebrity as well.  She has him checked out and in one of those cases of mistaken identity that is the pumping heart of so many romantic comedies, Jhnelle thinks he’s Alonzo Grant, hotshot entertainment lawyer.

Now if you’re like me, you’re saying; “So why doesn’t he just tell her she’s made a mistake?” It’s a question I usually ask myself when watching romantic comedies since if the people up on the screen would just talk to each other, the movie would be over with a lot sooner and I could get on with more important things.  And so Derrick romances Jhnelle, all the while trying to figure out a way to tell her who he really is

However, the sheer chemistry and likeability of the cast was enough for me to overlook that and just enjoy the movie.  I’ve always been a huge fan of Kelly Rowland and it’s an injustice she doesn’t have a bigger career as she’s far more talented and beautiful than most of the One Name Wonders pretending to be singers.  Along with Duane Martin they work at selling the story and the characters and it worked for me.  In supporting roles as the obligatory best friends of the lead actors, DeRay Davis and Melanie Brown (yep, Scary Spice herself) know what their role is in a movie of this type and act accordingly.  Although DeRay Davis does get a little out of control every once in a while, it’s not annoying and thankfully the movie doesn’t hold up the story for his hijinks.

Shemar Moore, Patrick Fischler and in a sneeze-and-you’ll-miss-him role Glynn Turman provide stable, solid support.

So should you see THE SEAT FILLER?  Why not?  It’s a nice little movie you and your significant other can snuggle up with and enjoy without guilt.  The contrivances of the plot get bent a little out of shape to drag out the mistaken identity bit but the movie has good intentions and that goes a long way with me.  And it’s always an added plus when I can find a movie with an African-American cast that doesn’t insult me with stereotypical ignorance.

90 minutes