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Casual Sex? (1988) - Blu-ray Review

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Casual Sex? (1988) - Blu-ray Review

5 beers

Big hair. Shoulder pads. Casual sex. And Andrew Dice Clay. Anyone else miss the 1980s? I mean, who’d have thought the words “safe” and “sex” would ever appear in the same sentence?

Before Thelma met Louise and long before Romy and Michelle went back to high school there was Melissa (Victoria Jackson) and Stacy (Lea Thompson) on vacation at a health resort looking for the perfect man while drinking ten glasses of mineral water a day and nude sunbathing on the beach. If you remember this flick from 1988, then you will also remember just how underrated it is; how big it flopped; and just how exact comedian Andrew Dice Clay is as he wins over audiences with a softer side of his stand-up shtick.  

In Casual Sex?, Hollywood’s early attempt to find humor in the wake of AIDS epidemic, both actresses play parts that are exact opposites – Jackson is shy and nervous while Thompson is a bit of a free-spirit – and yet they maintain a believable friendship that is both funny and warm. And then there is Andrew Dice Clay who plays Vinnie, a fast-talkin’ dude who attempts to woo them both, never fearing the slam of a door. As described, he’s a living argument for birth control. He’s also the film’s secret weapon.

 

"Is your sex safe enough?  Check out Casual Sex? for the honest word"


 

The film’s script is adapted by Wendy Goldman and Judy Toll. They leave some of the elements of their stage play in the screenplay by allowing the girls to break the fourth wall and, adding some more comedic bits to it, put their best foot forward with this film adaptation.  It is witty and intelligent; however, it plays far too much of its subject matter safe.  But, hey, no one else was willing to have these bedroom discussions in the search for Mr. Right, so there’s that. Even if it comes across as a public service announcement sometimes, Hollywood had to start somewhere.

There’s a lot of talk of sex and tubes and jellies and condoms, yet the man-hating ways of Sex and the City are not yet present.  Thank God.  Yes, this movie predates that phenomenon, too.. Forward-thinking as it is, the movie also holds back a bit; it should have landed   

Co-starring Mary Gross, Bruce Abbott, and Steve Oedekerk, the comedy is loaded with solid performances, but it remains a little too low key for its own good. Some of the lines are quite good, though, and funny.  You will laugh.  Charming.  Funny.  Smart. But, with only Buster Poindexter’s “Hot Hot Hot” on its soundtrack, the film is also somehow forgettable.

Casual Sex? (1988) - Blu-ray Review

But let’s talk about the awkward yet charming performance of Andrew Dice Clay.  I’m not sure if it is his performance as Vinnie, who discovers the pretend you are sensitive handbook, or it is the pink Cadillac at the film’s vehicle for escape, but something in between all the public service announcements absolutely clicks with this comedy. Outdated? Sure. But still fun.

Is your sex safe enough?  Check out Casual Sex? for the honest word.   It is now on blu-ray, albeit hard to find, thanks to the new transfer from Universal, with deleted scenes and an alternate ending. 

Vincent Falconi and his cute puppy awaits.

Casual Sex? (1988) - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime:
97 mins
Director
: Geneviève Robert
Writer:
Wendy Goldman, Judy Toll
Cast:
Lea Thompson, Victoria Jackson, Stephen Shellen
Genre
: Comedy
Tagline:
A lighter look at what happens in the dark.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Mmm. I'm sick of my Mighty Intruder vibrator with the flexible shaft and the textured head."
Theatrical Distributor:
Universal Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
April 22, 1988
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
July 10, 2018
Synopsis: While attending a singles retreat, two female friends-- one promiscuous, the other unlucky with men-- share their philosophies on love, sex, men, and dating in the wake of the 1980s AIDS epidemic.

Casual Sex? (1988) - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Universal Pictures
Available on Blu-ray
- July 10, 2018
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: None
Audio:
English:  DTS-HD Master Audio Stereo 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Universal’s 1080p transfer, presented with an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, is pretty good.  Loaded with juicy details, this is an atmospheric release that doesn’t shy away from the sunlight.  It has dark layers, yes, and those shadows are well-defined and crisp but the new transfer does not disappoint.  Some shots, due to the era of the day, are fuzzier than others but the image is reasonably well defined with crisp contrasts and solid textures. Colors are solid, with reds being a standout. Blacks are, too. Surprisingly, there's enough fine detail on display to make this seem revelatory. The era-ready color palette looks terrific, too. The disc comes with a DTS-HD Master Audio Stereo soundtrack.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None.

Special Features:

Fans get a collection of deleted scenes and an alternate ending.

  • Deleted Scenes
  • Alternate Ending

Casual Sex? (1988) - Blu-ray Review

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