Hulu continues to push the boundaries with its latest original film, “Sex Appeal”, which is about a high school student, Avery (Mika Abdalla), who is a perfectionist and full-blown science geek. She’s totally focused on winning another science fair and heading off to college.
While she is excellent at everything she does, she’s worked out that if she isn’t very good at something, she completely cuts it out of her life. And it’s when her long-distance boyfriend suggests they have sex when they finally get to meet up at the upcoming science fair. She freaks out. She tries to come up with a solution, not just to overcome her losing her virginity, but also needs a theme for her science fair app project.
Avery goes on a journey of discovery, speaking to her fellow high school students, teachers and to her mums, to gain additional knowledge for her app and for herself.
She persuades her long time friend, Larson (Jake Short), into helping her get more “data” for her app experiment and the pair slowly work their way through the bases, though not going all the way, since she wants to wait for her boyfriend at the science fair.
One of the funny things about this film is when the story is getting to the more “intermit” moments, we are teleported to a weird and wacky world, full of innuendo involving rockets and synchronised swimming.
While there are many discussions about sex, including positions, organisms, tips, tricks, etc., there is suggestive art throughout one of the mum’s houses (one of Avery’s mums is an artist). There is never any nudity throughout the film. That being said, this is not a film to watch with your parents! Because the subject matter is probably going to be highly embarrassing.
“Sex Appeal” is a fun comedy. It takes all the teenage troupes from your typical Hollywood comedies and ramps the volume up. But in doing so, it kinda becomes too overpowering and takes it too far on occasions.
This film just doesn’t seem realistic, the way the entire high school class is talking openly about what they like, what they don’t and much more. Avery is in complete control throughout the film, but also utterly clueless on how social conventions work and just interrupts classes without any thought about other students.
I even wondered if Avery has Autism or Aspergers, as she seems completely disconnected from her feelings, with no empathy or any thought when asking questions or from her actions. She has no boundaries talking to people regarding sex, with little to no regard to the people she’s speaking to or how it makes them feel. It makes the character more interesting in some ways, but I didn’t connect with her, since her actions naturally made me feel more sympathy for Larson.
Avery often comes across more like an extreme female version of Sheldon from “The Big Bang Theory”, especially as she has a thing for Spock and is turned on when she hears dirty talk in Klingon! And much like Sheldon, she eventually learns to think of others first.
“Sex Appeal” is a strange movie. It’s trying so hard to be edgy and cool, that it feels completely unrealistic. I really wish they had set this film in college, rather than in high school, because all the actors are well into their twenties and continues that Hollywood high school troupe.
Overall, it’s a fun movie, but just beware, it’s extremely open about sex, so you might be uncomfortable watching it with anyone else if you get embarrassed about talking openly about sex. While being open about the topic can be helpful, there is a time and place for it!
Rating – 3 out of 5
“Sex Appeal” is coming to Hulu on Friday 14th January 2022.