BY JOHN MCCURDY / MANAGING EDITOR //
You certainly can’t accuse them of false-advertising this one. “My Awkward Sexual Adventure” is just that: awkward, sexual and – very much so – an adventure.
At the same time, though, the title leaves many questions unanswered. Is this an honest look at a man’s personal struggle? Is it a non-stop romp, flowing from one sex gag to the next? Is it something you would see on a date with your significant other?
The answer to all of the above (given you belong to the targeted age 18 to 54 bracket) is yes. This film is, at its heart, a well-intentioned rom-com that sets itself apart in a couple of ways.
Plot-wise, nothing that you see here is new. Sad-sap accountant Jordan (Jonas Chernick) gets stood up by his girlfriend Rachel (Sarah Manninen) at the airport terminal as the two are supposed to leave for a romantic vacation to Niagara Falls. While the two are “on a break,” the former travels to Toronto, where he meets a perfect example of the stripper-with-a-heart-of-gold trope, Julia (Emily Hampshire), who sets in motion the process of self-discovery.
It’s in the individual performances of these actors, as well as their on-screen chemistry, that the film truly shines. Chernick is both completely believable and riotous in the role of pitiful loser (a part which, without his charm, might otherwise seem old-hat).
And the way he plays “Luke Skywalker” to Hampshire’s “Yoda” – a running joke throughout – is endearing and hilarious. Not to mention, Manninen is a terrific “evil ex,” and supporting man Vik Sahay (in the role of best-bud Dandak) deadpans his way to the viewer’s funnybone as well as any better-known comedian.
Younger and/or more sensitive moviegoers beware, though, as nearly every laugh comes with profanity, innuendo, explicit references or a combination of the three. It’s nothing we haven’t heard or seen in each and every of Judd Apatow’s works, but it’s still worth a reminder: While the AJFF is for everyone, “My Awkward Sexual Adventure” probably is not.
But for those who liked “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” “Knocked Up” and “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” prepare to laugh until you cry and walk out of the theatre with heart warmed.
Visit ajff.org for a full schedule of Atlanta Jewish Film Festival movies.