I watched Flashdance last Friday. My boyfriend had never seen it, and I don’t think I’ve watched it since high school. I thought it would be a light end-of-the-week-and-we’re-both-too-tired-to-think kind of movie, which it was. A laughably awful seduction scene from the movie led me to write this post. Let me dive right in. These are my top seven unsexiest scenes in cinema:
7.) The Notebook
You’re probably wondering why I threw The Notebook on this list. It’s because I count utterly unrealistic as bad. Especially when it comes to sex scenes. Remember when Allie (Rachel McAdams) and Noah (Ryan Gosling) first make love? If you don’t, I’ll let give you the pertinent details. Allie is a virgin. From the moment their lovemaking begins, Allie feels no pain or discomfort whatsoever. Only pleasure. Then, with apparent ease, she orgasms. I know we’re all different, but seriously? Her first time is THIS perfect and pleasurable? There’s not one awkward moment where she at least queefs or something?
A piece of low-hanging fruit? Maybe. Or maybe not. There are sex scenes in this movie that some might find erotic. Then there are sex scenes that are upsetting and repulsive. One such scene is when Joe, played by Charlotte Gainsbourg, promises to tell her interlocutor, Seligman, about the “silent duck.”
At this point in the movie (part II), Joe has gone past the point of no return in her sex addiction and is regularly visiting K., a professional sadomasochist. Charlotte Gainsbourg, who is very attractive in real life, has let her hair go stringy and her skin sallow to fit the part of the depraved Joe. Her appearance adds to the repulsion you feel as Joe is being spanked and otherwise tortured by K. As some kind of present, K. gives Joe the “silent duck.” All we see is the shadow of K.’s hand on the wall in the shape of a duck bill, and our imaginations are left to piece together the rest. None of it is pretty.
It’s been awhile since I saw this film, but I distinctly remember at least one cringe-worthy make-out scene in the beginning between Telly (Leo Fitzpatrick) and a much younger girl. There was lots of sloppy open-mouthed tonguing. Plus the girl is young enough that it’s unclear if she’s really able to give consent when Telly pressures her to lose her virginity. It’s pretty stomach churning, though it’s shocking enough to keep you watching. That was probably Larry Clark’s intention.
4.) Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie
So I know this is definitely grabbing the low-hanging fruit, but I couldn’t resist. If you haven’t watched Tim (Tim Heidecker) and Katie (Twink Caplan) making whoopee, you should check it out. It involves giant black dildos being suctioned to foreheads and lots of pegging. And it’s cut with scenes of Eric (Eric Wareheim) getting “shrimed” on by six young boys in a bath tub.
I could describe the pool scene between Zack (Kyle MacLachlan) and Nomi (Elizabeth Berkley) using a million different words. None of them would be “sexy.” The scene starts out erotically enough, with Nomi dropping trou on her way to the pool. Anyone–straight, lesbian, gay, man, woman, intersex–has to admit that, though she might not be able to act worth sh@t and has on fake eyelashes longer than a giraffe’s, Elizabeth Berkley has nice breasts. This might mislead you into thinking the soon-to-come sex scene will be hot. Sorry, but not quite. Nomi gets in the pool. Then Zack’s bare rump passes through the frame, and he gets in the pool too. The stage is set for the weirdness to begin.
After sipping champagne, Zach begins pouring it on Nomi’s head. It’s like he pressed her stripper “on” button, and she starts writhing and tilting her head back as though she’s on stage at the club. When they start in on the lovemaking, Nomi looks like a bored but proud hooker going to work. Within 30 seconds there’s thrashing. Lots of thrashing. And splashing. And aggressive eye contact. Nomi is screwing Zack so violently it’s amazing he escapes without severe penile injury. The apparent epileptic fit intensifies and Nomi begins flinging her head backwards into the pool as though she’s trying to drown herself. She finally stops, looking satisfied, and we realize that’s just how Nomi orgasms.
2.) King of New York
This movie is so ridiculous that I’ve never watched it in its entirety. The idea–the mere IDEA–that Christopher Walken could be a gang kingpin who inspires respect and obedience in the likes of Lawrence Fishburne, who walks with more swagger and grace than 10 Christopher Walkens put together, was just too laughable. Which brings me to one of the silliest sex scenes in modern cinema.
Christopher Walken’s character, Frank, has just gotten out of prison. At a dinner celebrating his release, he whispers to Jennifer, who’s ostensibly his girlfriend or semi-regular lover, that he wants her “on a train.” Sounds pretty Green Eggs and Ham-ish, doesn’t it?
Frank proceeds to lead Jennifer onto an empty–and filthy–subway car. As they kiss, there are gratuitous shots of Frank groping Jennifer’s breast beneath her overcoat, the camera focusing in on her nipple. It looks more like Frank is kneading hamburger patties than trying to arouse her. Christopher Walken is great at playing bizarro characters, but all that grayish skin and jerky movement doesn’t lend itself to lothario.
The intimacy comes to a screeching halt when Frank and Jennifer are confronted by three armed muggers–three armed muggers who are easily warded off with a flash of Frank’s gun in his waistband, a wad of bills, and a directive to show up at the Plaza Hotel. I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t disappointed that Frank and Jennifer’s subway love went unconsummated. I’d hate to see Christopher Walken’s O-face.
Alex (Jennifer Beals) is out to dinner with Nick, the wealthy owner of wherever she does her welding. The two have already experienced a ridiculous on-screen seduction where Alex hiked up her skirt and squatted on the floor, then proceeded to pull her bra out of her sweatshirt. We’ve all seen that, even if we haven’t seen Flashdance. But that scene is nowhere near as entertaining and downright nauseating as the scene I’m about to refer to.
We, the viewer, are taken into a swanky restaurant where Alex is eating what appears to be crab with her hands, while Nick, the consummate gentleman, uses his fork. Alex proceeds to seduce Nick by sucking and licking stringy bits of crab, running it around her lips and in and out of her mouth. This might be hot, except that she’s doing it with a chewed-up piece of slimy seafood. Then Nick’s ex-wife comes to the table and starts smack-talking Alex, minimizing her relationship with Nick. In an effort to counteract this, Alex proclaims that she “f@cked Nick’s brains out” on their first date. Then she whips off her her tux–yes, she’s wearing a tux–to reveal a tuxedo bib with her breasts visible underneath. No one in the restaurant notices that Alex is almost nude.
My boyfriend and I had to rewind this scene several times just to reassure ourselves that Jennifer Beals’ licking and sucking bits of crab was as disgusting as we thought it was the first time around. It was.
I know I’m missing a lot of unsexy scenes here, so feel free to post any additions in the comments section.