All About Sex (2021)

Director: Dakota Goreman

Running Time: 104 Minutes

Certification: 18

Starring: Natalee Linez, Emma Deckers, Dakota Goreman, Dillon Lane, Matt Angel, Chris Costanzo, James Hyde, Parvesh Cheena

At one point, two characters are sitting outside behind the coffee shop where they work. Written on the dumpster behind them is strange graffiti, which reads "I like boobs" and "Eddie Murphy is a good actor". It's an eye-catching yet baffling detail which sums up the film rather well, as it feels too forced and unnatural.

For her feature debut, writer/director Dakota Goreman crafts a story about three friends trying to navigate their professional and personal lives in the big city. These friends are made up of Casey (Natalee Linez), who's dealing with depression and a flaky boyfriend, frustrated barista Sage (Dakota Goreman) who wants to be an artist, and unpaid intern Morgan (Emma Deckers) who makes ends meet as a sex-worker.

Focusing on this close knit-trio allows viewers to see how their lives have turned out, as the messiness of adulthood has left them in jobs and situations they don't like. This stripped down approach is perfect to let the material do the talking, which makes the proceedings rather unfortunate. When the film is about the relationships formed while trying to persevere through life, it's a shame the relationships depicted on-screen feel lacking. Be it down to the screenplay or the performances, it all feels so unengaging and as interchangeable as the lead characters.

Little in this unfolding tale feels natural, as the small victories and crushing lows are too contrived to work. Audiences wish to be swept along in the characters journey, rooting for them and feeling empathy when things comes crashing down, yet little actually lands here. What's left is an overlong story lacking focus or reasons to stick in one's mind.

All About Sex is available on Digital Platforms from 26th July