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RELAX... IT'S JUST SEX ($25) is an unusual little independent comedy about an unusual group of friends. From the title, you can tell that this movie is going to involve sex, however all forms of sexuality come into play in RELAX... IT'S JUST SEX. Of course, this movie is certainly not to every taste because of its up front depiction of homosexuality, however if you make it past the first scene, RELAX... IT'S JUST SEX proves to be a genuinely humorous motion picture about the different people that inhabit this crazy world. The central focus of the film is the romantic trials and tribulations of a core group of friends that are straight, gay and lesbian. RELAX... IT'S JUST SEX depicts several months in their lives and how new relationships are formed and how old ones fall apart.

Jennifer Tilly stars as Tara, the center of the group and seemingly the glue that binds everyone together. Other than having to deal with her boyfriendís overwhelming need to see the world, Taraís number one concern is the fact that she can hear her biological clock ticking and knows that her eggs arenít getting any fresher. Mitchell Anderson portrays Taraís gay best friend Vincey, whose love life is just a series of failures. Cynda Williams is Sarina, the lesbian who discovers that her long time lover is a closet heterosexual. Lori Petty is Robin, the woman who helps Sarina pick up the pieces of her love life. T.C. Carson portrays Buzz Wagner, the newest member of the group, an artist who isnít afraid to say whatís on his mind, even if he gets under everyoneís skin. The cast of RELAX... IT'S JUST SEX also includes Serena Scott Thomas, Eddie Garcia, Timothy Paul Perrez, Chris Cleveland, Gibbs Toldsdorf, Susan Tyrrell, Seymour Cassel and Paul Winfield.

RELAX... IT'S JUST SEX comes to DVD from A-PIX Entertainment. The movie is offered in a Letterboxed transfer that recreates the filmís 1.85:1 aspect ratio, without the benefit of the anamorphic enhancement. Since RELAX... IT'S JUST SEX is a small independent movie; it doesnít have the crisp, glossy look of a Hollywood "A" production. The image is somewhat soft and not overly defined, which makes me suspect that RELAX... IT'S JUST SEX was either shot in 16mm or on inexpensive 35mm film stock. Donít get me wrong, RELAX... IT'S JUST SEX doesnít look any worse than any other low budget independent movie; itís just that most films of this type donít provide an astonishing visual experience. For what it is, RELAX... IT'S JUST SEX looks pretty good, providing a highly watchable image without any serious flaws. Colors tend to be a little subdued, although flesh tones are reasonably natural. Blacks are fairly accurate, but shadow detail tends to be somewhat limited. There are no appreciable digital compression artifacts on this dual layered DVD.

RELAX... IT'S JUST SEX comes with a Dolby Digital 5.0 channel soundtrack. Since this is a comedy in which the characters do little more than talk, the mix doesnít draw attention to itself. Subtle sound effects are spread across the entire soundstage, including into the split surround channels, but they are little more than the ambient sounds. The filmís music also utilizes all of the channels, but it too tends to be subdued. Dialogue is cleanly reproduced an always intelligible, which is what it needs to be in a dialogue driven film such as this. There is no bass channel on this track and there is no need for one. Spanish subtitles are encoded onto the DVD.

The interactive menus contain a tiny bit of animation, but are otherwise rather basic. Through the menus, one can access the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as the discís supplements. Supplements include outtakes, cast filmographies, theatrical and video trailers, plus trailers for other A-PIX Entertainment titles.




DVD reviews are Copyright © 2000 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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