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Body Shots

Starring Sean Patrick Flanery, Jerry O'Connell, Amanda Peet, Tara Reid, Ron Livingston, Emily Procter, Brad Rowe, Sybil Temchen
Screenplay by David McKenna
Directed by Michael Cristofer

IN SHORT: Geez, doesn't anybody do drugs anymore? [Rated [R] ]

A story of eight somewhat friends and their downright analytical views on sex and singlehood. Each views, clinically and specifically detailed in the movie that rolls out, desensitize you to what story there is and render almost all of the characters unsympathetic. Cranky considers unsympathy to be a major problem when the whole point of the flick is a he said/she said analysis of whether one guy raped one girl, after all eight had gone totally blotto on booze and Jell-O shots and more booze on top of that. And more shots for the road.

Our pairs begin with Rick and Jane (Sean Patrick Flanery and Amanda Peet), handsome and pretty, waking up together fully clothed on Jane's bed. As we flash back over the night before, there is more than a definite suggestion that this pairing may be the end of the esoteric and obscure search for the Grail of Permanent and Everfulling love. Second in the paddocks are Mike (Jerry O'Connell) a Raiders Football player with a $5 million dollars newly signed contract under his belt and Sara (Tara Reid) the pseudo-little sister of the gang. There's Emma (Sybil Temchen), who buys her club drinks by the bottle, three at a clip, and finds anonymous sex with a non drinking friend Shawn (Brad Rowe) only when the third bottle has been drained. Last up are the dorky Trent (Ron Livingston), who noone really likes, and Whitney (Emily Proctor) who has her own secrets.

We begin with one of this group banging on the door of another, claiming to have been raped after a night spent clubbing. We then flash back and take it all apart.

In the nightclub in which these GenXers hang out, horns go off and women in sliced up 50s styled stewardess uniforms (though spandex and Lycra have replace cotton and wool and huge hunks of breast skin are always visible) parade through the club selling body shots (we call 'em Jell-O Shots where I come from). Anyone that's ever done shots knows that they get you ripped quicker and feel so damned smooth and cool and sexy sliding down the gullet that no one can do just one. As in, the more the merrier. Condoms in dispensers in the bathroom. See you tomorrow. That kind of thing.

Everybody Parties all night. Everybody, in one way or another pairs off. And with analytical preciseness, each of the character looks into the camera and explains all the pros and cons, foibles and faux pas of twentysomething dating in the 1990s, even as we work to the bottom of the mystery of what happened that night.

Yes, there is sex. Yes, there is explicit language. No, it is not sexy at all.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Body Shots, he would have paid...


Midweek rental level. Having done everything you see in this flick (what? you think public sex at a club was invented last year???) Cranky knows what the mindset was like at that age. The clinical analysis of the script just takes any fun out and doesn't provide enough padding to protect you from the unpleasantness at the center of the tale.

The Cranky Critic website is Copyright © 1995  -  2016   by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.