400 Screens, 400 Blows is a weekly column that takes an in-depth look at the films playing below the radar, beneath the top ten, and on 400 screens or less.
Well, seven seconds has gone by and here I am, thinking about sex again. Not like that, you little perverts... I was thinking about sex in movies. It seems like, lately, the movies have learned to become sexy again. In the late 1960s, it became slowly acceptable to show nudity in American films. By the 1970s, many filmmakers were running with it. At some point during the 1980s and 1990s, some kind of conservative mood took over and the MPAA and other forces began taking sex out of movies, replaced with violence. As one clever soul put it: "if you show a breast, you get an R rating, but if you cut it off, you get a PG-13." Perhaps people have grown tired of conservatism lately because this year has been a good year for sex. In movies.
If you like sexy, funny women, for example, you can do no better than Anna Faris, who played a Playboy bunny last year and this year plays mall makeup countergirl Brandi, who listens to vulgar hip-hop and wears her good-time girl attitude like a revealing halter top. Her sex scene with Seth Rogen in Observe and Report (119 screens) contains so far one of my favorite lines of dialogue this year. She's downed several shots of something or other and a few pills on top of that. She's about 99% passed out as Ronnie Barnhardt (Rogen) pounds away on top of her. He stops, concerned about her well-being: "Brandi?" he asks. Suddenly, from between smears of lipstick: "Why are you stopping, motherf----r?"