October 26th, 2008

SEX AND DEATH 101 (2008) ** ½

The newly engaged Roderick Blank (Land of the Dead’s Simon Baker) is puzzled when he receives an anonymous email that lists all of his previous and future sexual conquests.  After consecutively banging a few women on the list, he slowly begins to believe in “the power of the list” and sets off to score with all 101 women on the printout.  Eventually he realizes the last woman on the list is a serial killer known as “Death Nell” (Winona Ryder) who likes to fuck and kill her lovers.


Sex and Death 101 is compulsively watchable thanks to the likable performances of the two leads.  I totally enjoyed Baker in this flick and think he’d make a kick ass leading man if he was given more film roles.  Ryder was also great (even though her screen time was limited to just a few scenes), doing a tweak on her usual pixyish persona.


I wanted to really like this movie, but overall it just wasn’t all that funny.  Clever and amusing; sure.  Laugh-out loud funny?  Not so much.  What brought the movie to a dead halt were the scenes of the trio of omnipotent guardians (named Alpha, Beta, and Fred) to the supercomputer responsible for Baker’s email.  None of these scenes are very funny and add an odd sci-fi tinge to the movie that it didn’t really need. 


Writer/director Daniel Waters also wrote Heathers and Demolition Man.