Written by Julie Bloom for The New York Times. Originally published on April 30th, 2015.
“Sex has always served as ample inspiration for comedy — every awkward encounter in bed is a potential gold mine for an observant writer or actor. But this summer, more than any other in recent memory, filmmakers are focused on what’s going on in hotel rooms, taxi back seats and anywhere else two people (or more) are getting it on.
This genre of movies — we’ll call them sex comedies for lack of a better term — has evolved since its last heyday, in the early ’80s, when teenage boys flocked to movies like “Porky’s.”
In contrast to those movies and this year’s box-office hit “Fifty Shades of Grey,” the new films don’t have sex on the brain in every scene. But it is a big theme and a major plot driver that allows filmmakers, including several women, to explore relationships in ways that are fresh, uncomfortable and occasionally even smart.
The sex comedy has also become a framework for challenging the comedic form, and writers and actors, some with backgrounds in standup, are clearly pushing the boundaries of taste by upending social norms — whether it’s a straight man’s one-night stand with another man (“The D Train”), absurd fetishes (“The Little Death,”), female promiscuity (“Train- wreck,” “Sleeping With Other People”), or raunchy language and graphic physicality (“The Overnight,” “The Bronze”).
Here, the stars and filmmakers from those films talk about what embarrassed them, what might embarrass audiences and what’s so funny about sex. These are excerpts from the conversations.
With Judd Apatow directing, Amy Schumer wrote and stars in this comedy about a promiscuous magazine writer forced to confront the real possibility of falling in love with Bill Hader’s character.
NOTABLE SCENE Amy’s character seduces a male intern at her magazine only to be caught in bed by his mother, one of a number of cringe-inducing encounters.
JUDD APATOW We just sat on the phone, and I asked Amy what her relationship issues were. Even though the story is fabricated, some details are taken from her life, and you can tell she’s not kidding. You root for her as a character because there’s honesty to it.
Click here to read more about Hollywood’s more honest take on sex scenes!