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How to Make Love to a Woman
The title "How to Make Love to a Woman" posits a very important question for men around the world. How does one accurately thrill a woman in the bedroom? I think the first step is to avoid showing her this movie. A toothless romantic comedy, the feature doesn't do much of its own thinking, only working with pure cliché to manufacture an allegedly cheeky DTV diversion for bored couples disappointed to find "Valentine's Day" has been completely rented out at the local Redbox.
Andy (Josh Meyers) is a Los Angeles music executive enjoying the loving company of his girlfriend, Lauren (Krysten Ritter). Their relationship is bubbly, but the sex is awful, with Andy unable to comprehend the divide between his pleasure and Lauren's. Seeking out advice from friends, family, club skanks, musicians, and Jenna Jameson, Andy finds he's ready to make a commitment to Lauren, with special attention paid to sexual performance. Unfortunately, Lauren has received a job offer in Chicago and a flirtatious full court press from her co-worker/childhood crush, Daniel (Ian Somerhalder). With their relationship strained, Andy attempts to woo back the love of his life before it's too late.
Fashioned in the "American Pie" mode of sexual knowhow and comedic impotence, "How to Make Love to a Woman" doesn't offer anything approaching true insight. It's a comedy...at times. More of a melodrama, really, as vanilla Andy and bland Lauren fight a hackneyed game of love in Los Angeles. Director Scott Culver doesn't display any sort of imagination here, ticking off the clichés in Dennis Kao's script with enthusiasm equal to someone on their way to the gallows. It's a labored bit of direction, with essentials such a camera focus coming across as too mighty a challenge for the helmer, who seems like he'd rather be anywhere else than shooting a rom-com with Seth Meyers's brother, working from a script glued together from a thousand other similar features. I can't blame him.
The material is hoary and unfunny, pushing Andy through an obstacle course of sexual information, helping him find the one key button that will thaw the domestic ice: the clitoris. With Andy seeking assistance from anyone who'll listen, Kao's script walks through tired comedic situations sold by a tired supporting cast, sticking strictly to known elements to help enlighten our hero. There's no edge, no spark of invention. There's only formula and a script that appears pulverized by a production process that demanded nothing original end up on screen.
Also rather annoying is the soundtrack, which bundles some of the worst shaggy-banged power pop imaginable, turning the film into an obnoxious commercial for music that has no personality. Perhaps Culver needed to attend to a few favors, but why should he make the viewer suffer?
The anamorphic widescreen (1.78:1 aspect ratio) presentation provides an optimal boost of colors, keeping the film to the slightly cartoon flavoring it demands for many of the comedic sequences. Skintones are natural and black levels are only trouble during low-light sequences. The DVD image looks best when capturing action in broad daylight, but little of the film is shot outdoors, making the viewing experience fall on the flat side.
The 5.1 Dolby Digital sound mix has to sort out an abundance of soundtrack cuts, most dominating the sound mix with a tinny, screechy quality that's not comfortable. Low-end is nonexistent, with the most firepower here reserved for heated exchanges and some slapstick. Surrounds are rarely engaged. A 2.0 mix is also included.
English SDH subtitles are included.
"Interviews" (15:15) sit down on-set (always the kiss of death) with cast and crew (and a many musicians featured in the film), asking them to describe the experience of making the movie. Lots of jesting, platitudes, and unfunny riffing here, making for a waste of time.
"Outtakes" (25:24) offer considerably more woe and unfunny business for Andy and the gang.
"Music Video" (2:39) for a song that's never titled by a performer that's never identified is included.
"Making Of" (15:00) is marvelous setting a tone for the production, with a smattering of BTS footage, but the rest of this featurette doesn't offer much in the way of honest reflection, only the hard sell.
A Trailer is included.
Will Andy and Lauren work out their bedroom difficulties? Will love reign again? Will Kao actually employ a head-slappingly lame break-up-to-make-up climax? Predictability is a major component of the script, leaving the film comatose and without surprise. Had there been a single wrinkle manufactured by the production, "How to Make Love to a Woman" might've been moderately digestible. No such luck. It's a parade of the familiar from the first frame to the last, rendering the glory of love as a laborious and smug nightmare.