Sex has always been and always will be a taboo subject for many, not just because it’s the icky way people are created, but all the many weird sexual perversions out there. We can’t help but either get uncomfortable or laugh at it. The Little Death is an Aussie gem that makes its audience do both very well.
The film tells the sordid tale of five couples living on the same street, each with their own sexual inadequacies and desires. Dan (Damon Herriman) and Evie (Kate Mulvany) need to roleplay to get aroused, which Dan eventually takes too seriously. Rowena (Kate Box) gets turned on when she sees her husband Richard (Patrick Brammell) crying over his dad’s death and keeps provoking him to cry (yep). Phil (Alan Dukes) gets turned on when his nagging wife Maureen (Lisa McCune) is asleep, so he starts drugging her and has an affair, with his unconscious wife. Paul (Josh Lawson) has the incredibly awkward task of making Maeve’s (Bojana Novakovic) rape fantasy come to life (trust me, it’s actually funnier than it sounds!). Sam (T.J. Power) is a deaf man who calls Monica (Erin James) a sign language translator, to talk to a phone sex operator what he wants her to do and then Monica has to mimic these acts (This scene alone is bloody hilarious and worth the price of admission!).
The term “sex comedy” can make some roll their eyes and think it’s just a movie full of promiscuity for the sake of it, but The Little Death is a really clever comedy full of insights about sexuality outside the “norm”. Many people don’t like to “go there” or at least want to admit to wanting to, and the film explores both the joys and consequences of living out your sexual desires. The fact the couples’ new neighbour Steve (Kim Gyngell) legally has to tell everyone he’s a sex offender shows both the potential consequences of acting on your sexual impulses and everyone intentionally ignoring his crimes showing even with their own odd sexual desires they are ultimately uncomfortable with sex.
Written and directed by Josh Lawson, The Little Death is an absolute crack up and a very daring comedy that Aussie audiences absolutely should not miss out on.
Originally published here at milkbarmag.com on Thursday 18 September 2014