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Tribeca Review: Slut in a Good Way

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Sex and toys, but not in that way

I'm not usually one for movies about teenagers going through the perils of teenage life. I lived through it, it sucked, and why on Earth would I want to relive those memories again? Being a teenager sucked, but filmmakers love to make movies about teenagers going through puberty as a tried and true method of exploring maturity and losing the innocence of one's youth. But then you get Slut in a Good Way, a movie that revels in teenagers having sex, becoming sexually independent, and maturing as a person through sex with a healthy dose of feminism and body positivity thrown into the mix. 

And it works. All of it works and Slut in a Good Way is a fun time that has a lot to say about sex. Sex is usually shunned here in America as being a shameful thing to take a part of. You can decapitate a person and drain them of their blood in American movies, but God help you if we see a nipple! So when I sat down to see Slut in a Good Way show off sex in a positive way, I was genuinely impressed.

Slut in a Good Way
Director: Sophie Lorain
Release Date: April 19, 2018 (Tribeca Film Festival)

Charlotte, Megan, and Aube are three teenage girls living in the black and white far off world of Canada. Charlotte is heartbroken at the fact that her boyfriend broke up with her because he was gay. So the three girls decide to apply to work at a local toy store after seeing all of the cute guys and thinking that they can have sex, unwind for a bit, make some decent money, and Charlotte can get over her gay ex. There's a lot of sex, teenagers trying to figure out what love is, and figuring out if a person can be a slut, but in a good way. 

Keep that phrase in mind, because it's going to be hammered into your brain by the end of the movie. Most of the main girls talk about what it means to be a slut and whether a person can be a good slut or a bad slut. Even if it doesn't make sense in the conversation, the girls will talk about being a slut in a good way or being a slut in a bad way, which can get pretty pretentious pretty fast. It's not harmful or anything, but it happens often enough that I had to roll my eyes whenever I heard it. 

But as for the actual themes and ideas in Slut in a Good Way, I liked how there are multiple perspectives that the movie takes. It shows sex as just a matter of life and how important it can be to some people while others don't think much about it. Some girls get upset at sex or what sex means, while other girls view it as a form of independence where they can take complete control of their body. Some view sex as a form of love, while some view it as meaningless. There's a lot of depth to be mired in these interactions and the fact that these young actors are able to pull it off well is worthy of praise. 

The male actors aren't as engaging as the female actors to the point that whenever we have to spend time with them, I lose interest. They have two settings; talk about having sex, or trying to figure out how to have sex. They're the definition of horny teenagers while the girls all have some complexity to them, or at least we spend enough time with them to think that they're more developed than the boys. And even getting away from the sex, the characters are all likeable and I want to spend more time with them. When they crack a joke, it's honestly funny and I was especially grinning at a "twist" in the last five minutes only for it to be revealed as the ultimate prank on the boys. 

I don't think we get enough sex-positive movies nowadays, and Slut in a Good Way is a fun, albeit it a bit pretentious, look into the life of horny teenagers and the meaning of sex and intimacy. All of the females characters felt fleshed out, even the side ones, and while the guys can be a bit of a stereotype, their actors did a bang-up job. I don't know if this movie is ever going to leave the Indie circuit, but if you get the chance, give it a watch. It's probably the best Canadian movie you'll see all year if by virtue of being the only Canadian movie you'll see all year. 


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Slut in a Good Way reviewed by Jesse Lab

7

GOOD

Solid and definitely has an audience. There could be some hard-to-ignore faults, but the experience is fun.
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