Virtual Sexuality

Another day, another teen movie released. Just like Varsity Blues, Cruel Intentions, She's All That, Dick, 10 Things I Hate About You, and the million other clones of each other, Virtual Sexuality is another tedious exercise in the formative years of high school. But wait a minute - this one contains references to Red Dwarf, Celeste, and Jarvis Cocker. Who? What? Okay, it must be British. That's right, the fad that latched on to American movie theaters like a nasty virus now is infecting England. And Virtual Sexuality is the product of the evil influence of American teenage movies. It is as if they are punishing us for what we unleashed on them.

The movie is about (what else?) horny teenagers. One in particular, Justine (Laura Fraser, Man in the Iron Mask, Titus), is seventeen and wants desperately to lose her virginity. She wishes men were bar codes, so she could scan them quickly to determine which one is the right one for her. Her idea of a perfect date is a moonlit serenade, a magic carpet ride, and a starry night. She lusts after Alex (Kieran O'Brien), the typical stud jock that always brags about his conquests. Little does she know that her good friend Chas (Luke DeLacey), the school nerd, has a large crush on her. Of course, if you take off his glasses and comb his hair, he looks like quite the man. At a virtual reality convention, Justine enters a virtual makeover machine called Narcissus, where she creates her virtual soul mate. An accident occurs, and she discovers that she is now a man, and even better, the man she created. As Jake (Rupert Penry-Jones), Justineis able to experience the world through the eyes of a man. She wonders about the size of her own new penis, and wonders why men do not go to the bathroom together. Things get stranger when Jake meets himself, or more accurately, Justine.

Virtual Sexuality is directed by Nick Hurran, based on a book by Chloe Rayban. The title is more provocative than the actual movie; there is no real sex, and fleeting nudity. A note to American audiences, the nudity is mostly male. Man, those English are wacky. The little humor present in the movie deals with Jake adjusting to life as a man. The story is as subtle as one of those large anvils that hit you in the head in cartoons, and as thin as a piece of paper (college rule, of course). For the truly stupid, when something happens, the screen will freeze, and a little note appears in the corner spelling out what happened. And unlike Dawson's Creek, where the actors look somewhat like high schoolers but speak like college professors, the actors here look like they are about a decade out of high school (Fraser, a Julia Roberts clone, is 23 and DeLacey, a Christopher Reeve clone, is 28). Virtual Sexuality has barely enough heart to redeem itself, otherwise, it is virtually not a movie.

Mongoose Rates It: Not That Good.
1 hour, 31 minutes, Rated R for nudity, sexuality, and related language.

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