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  • Writer's pictureAlex First

A Guide to Second Date Sex (MA) - 81 minutes

Dates can be awkward encounters at the best of times with each party trying their best to impress the other and not make a total fool of themselves.

An unexpected encounter in a bar leads to a few faux pars, but ultimately to a tangible connection for Laura (Alexandra Roach) and Ryan (George MacKay).

But what then? A second date, of course ... where the weight of expectation grows.

Both are nervous as heck preparing for it, taking advice from their respective friends ... and, in her case, her mother – whether asked for or not.

And then everything goes pear shaped, not once, but twice on that second date, which is simply embarrassing in seemingly every way possible.

Obviously, the filmmaker, namely writer and first-time feature film director Rachel Hirons, was out to highlight and exploit that.

It is about the conversation and lack thereof, the unseemly movements and the surprises.

Previously Hirons made the short Worst First Date.

A Guide to Second Date Sex is an adaptation of her own critically acclaimed play, which enjoyed sold-out shows at London’s Soho Theatre and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

The film is designed to make us squirm ... and laugh.

While to an extent it succeeds, there is hardly enough here to sustain what on the surface of it is a decent enough notion for a film.

One idea that does work is the respective thought tracks attributed to Laura and Ryan while they are trying to get physical.

Another positive is the mysterious house mate (Tom Bell), whose name Ryan doesn’t know.

Still, for me, there weren’t enough belly laughs and in spite of the, at times, saucy talk the idea of Laura having sex while wearing a bra just didn’t ring true.

Notwithstanding that, I thought Alexandra Roach was better than George MacKay in their respective roles. I found her more naturally nerdish.

And the sudden arrival of Ryan’s ex-girlfriend Tufts (Emma Rigby) has but one really funny moment involving the kitchen sink.

So, A Guide to Second Date Sex brings a few smiles, but is little more than a one trick pony.

Rated MA, it scores a 5½ out of 10.


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