How To Have Sex


Reviewed by: Richard Mowe

How To Have Sex
"A fresh spin on territory that has been frequently explored." | Photo: Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival

It could have been just another teen coming of age tale but debut British filmmaker Molly Manning Walker manages to give a fresh spin on territory that has been frequently explored.

She manages to evoke the true bonds of friendship between her female protagonists who arrive on a Greek island after just having graduated from school and before they embark on University career.

Their main aim is to have fun and sex - and Mia McKenna Bruce, Lara Peake and Enya Lewis give the trio a real sense of complicity and chemistry as they splash on the shore, lie on the beach and eye up the talent.

The film captures the hedonistic atmosphere of young people bent on partying all day and night. They hook up with Shaun Thomas, Sam Bottomley and Laura Ambler who are older and more experienced.

As the relationships intertwine Manning Walker introduces the undercurrents that cut through what seemed to be simple friendships. One of them loses her virginity but not in the way she imagined and she becomes withdrawn and anxious.

The themes of dealing with consent and how to cope with sexual assault are explored, giving the film a darker feel after the jaunty atmosphere of the outset.

Manning Waller views the disintegration of the friendships with a cooly dispassionate demeanour. Whatever else their lives and relationships will never be the same again.

Reviewed on: 20 May 2023
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How To Have Sex packshot
Three friends contend with peer pressure in their decision to “do it”.
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Director: Molly Manning Walker

Writer: Molly Manning Walker

Starring: Mia McKenna Bruce, Lara Peake, Shaun Thomas, Sam Bottomley, Enva Lewis, Laura Ambler

Year: 2023

Runtime: 88 minutes

Country: UK

Streaming on: MUBI

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