– Review of the Toronto International Film Festival 2022

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The end of sex2022.

Directed by Sean Garrity.
With Emily Hampshire, Jonas Chernick, Gray Powell, Lily Gao, Melanie Scrofano and Colin Mochrie.

SYNOPSIS

A couple feeling the pressures of parenthood and adulthood send their children to winter camp for the first time and embark on a series of sexual adventures to reinvigorate their relationship.

Typically, in romantic comedies or dramas that portray a married couple struggling to rekindle their love, you’d see them start couples counseling, go on a big trip, have a lavish vow renewal, or situations like that. What you don’t often see is the couple embarking on a series of ill-planned and awkward sexual escapades to rekindle the passion in their marriage, but that’s exactly what director Sean Garrity and writer /actor Jonas Chernick portray in The end of sex in what is a hilarious, dramatic, heartfelt and relatable feature film.

The end of sex sees Chernick and Schitt’s Creek star Emily Hampshire as Josh and Emma respectively, a married couple who have been together since they were teenagers. When their daughters go off to winter camp for a week, they decide to use that time to be more sexually adventurous in an effort to jumpstart what has become their vanilla sex life. Whether it’s engaging in a threesome or talking a sex swing, they inadvertently put their marriage to the test as they both begin to wonder what they really want and how to achieve it.

Chernick and Hampshire share some really great chemistry, which makes it easily believable that they’re a decades-old couple based on how familiar they are with each other. Their relationship seems natural, especially with how they sometimes overlap in their conversations, and their comedic timing works well to be foils for each other. Chernick is more goofy and eager to experiment while Hampshire is confident and seemingly content. The pair are also able to balance the comedy of their misadventures with the drama, as the arguments feel genuine and deliver real emotion. It’s a struggle that many parents will find relatable after devoting so much time to their children that the concept of free time and a break from routine would seem completely alien and risky to them.

The supporting cast is small enough to devote as much time as possible to Josh and Emma’s struggles. Joining them is Wynonna EarpMelanie Scrofano, a friend of Emma’s who is invited into their bed and takes things a bit too far, Gray Powell as an old friend who harbors a not-so-secret infatuation with Emma, ​​and Lily Gao as Josh’s very open co-worker. They each do well against Chernick and Hampshire in both comedy and drama with Scrofano and Gao delivering plenty of laughs on their side.

What helps Josh and Emma’s marriage and friendships feel in jeopardy is how the cinematography draws the viewer in. Garrity’s direction focuses on Hampshire and Chernick’s reactions so we can see just how emotional their performances are, whether they’re in a huge fight or nerve-racking after a new or awkward experience. The story is well-paced and never feels boring as the movie continues to move forward and adds some interesting new beats while focusing on the character-driven nature of Josh and Emma’s desires.

The end of sex is a seriously funny movie with relatable performances and a meaningful story that doesn’t just focus on sex to find connections with its audience.

Scintillating Myth Rating – Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★/ Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★

Ricky Church – Follow me on Twitter for more movie news and nerd talk.

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