YOUNG PEOPLE FUCKING Review

Todd Brown, Founder and Editor

Martin Gero’s debut film treads a dangerous line thanks to its intentionally controversial title. On the one hand it’s perfectly accurate. This is indeed a film about young people – young, in this case being mid twenties to early thirties – fucking. On the other the title not only guarantees that the film cannot be referred to by its full title on posters, DVD covers or any other artwork if they expect it to ever appear in public but it also runs the risk of selling the film as something more shocking and exploitative than it really is. Understand going in that while there are more than a handful of nipples on screen through the duration, Young People Fucking is neither Porky’s nor Short Bus. While the talk is quite explicit, the on screen action is roughly on par with what you may see on HBO or Showtime so if you’re going in expecting to get your adolescent rocks off you’re going to the wrong movie. If, however, you want a frank and often very funny look at sexual politics than this may be just the ticket.

Gero builds his film around a single night in the life of multiple couples. There is the couple on a first date, the guy a player simply looking to score. There are the lifelong friends, both now single and curious what it would be like. There is the long term couple, their relationship slowly going stale. There are the exes, back together on a one-off night out, both still secretly harboring feelings for the other but afraid to say so directly. There is the threesome, a couple inviting the boyfriend’s quiet room mate to join them to play out a fantasy.

Best known to this point for his work on the Stargate franchise, Young People Fucking represents a major departure for Gero – who is joined in his task by co-writer and star Aaron Abrams – and he handles it quite well. The balance of the film leans towards comedy and while the mileage varies from couple to couple – and which couples hit hardest will likely also vary from viewer to viewer – he is blessed with a stellar cast of fearless performers and when things work – Peter Oldring as the third wheel in the threesome is flat out, deadpan genius, this should be a star making performance for him – they work brilliantly. And this is not to say that Gero can only handle comedy. While only one of the relationships is played purely straight – that being the exes – it is very likely the strongest segment of the entire film, certainly the most affecting.

The episodic nature of the film makes it inevitable that it will be a little bit uneven, cutting sequentially from one group to the next it is impossible not to occasionally wish that it would just jump straight on to the next bit with your favorites – note to the DVD producers, give the audience the ability to watch each couple through in linear fashion – while skipping the bits that don’t work as well but Young People Fucking is an auspicious debut from a director and writing team with obvious talent.

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