Finding the Funny
By George Heymont
Huffington Post; November 6, 2013
One of my favorite surprises at the 2013 San Francisco Jewish Film Festival was a Canadian comedy entitled My Awkward Sexual Adventure. Written by Jonas Chernick and directed by Sean Garrity, this film comes across like a breath of fresh air when compared to many Hollywood sex farces. Part of that may be because its protagonists are not horny teenagers, but genuinely conflicted adults struggling with real issues.
Jordan Abrams (Jonas Chernick) is a lean and nebbish Jewish accountant who is as boring in bed as he is fully dressed.
Rachel Stern (Sarah Manninen), is Jordan's girlfriend who has finally lost patience with him. When Jordan proposes, Rachel confesses that she can't possibly imagine a sex life that is all Jordan, all the time.
Since Jordan had already paid for their vacation to Niagara Falls, he can't bring himself to throw away the tickets. After arriving in Toronto, where he plans to crash with his sexually compulsive friend Dandak (Vik Sahay), a series of misadventures causes Jordan to cross paths with Julia (Emily Hampshire), an attractive stripper struggling to cope with a huge amount of acquired debt.
Jordan may not know much about human psychology and/or sexuality, but he quickly sees a way to barter his accounting skills with Julia for lessons in how to talk and make love to women. As their friendship grows, it's difficult for him to avoid the overwhelming guilt he feels about leaving Rachel. But that may actually be the least of his problems.
While there is absolutely no doubt that Jordan's ex-girlfriend, Rachel, is a selfish bitch, what sets My Awkward Sexual Adventure apart from so many other films in its genre is that the audience can't stop itself from caring about Jordan and Julia -- two deeply wounded and vulnerable adults who could actually help each other if they could only get past some of their emotional baggage.
Although the film's structure can occasionally be frustrating, it has a mature approach to sex and sensuality, as well as some great laughs.