Tuesday, February 17, 2015

MY TOP FIVE: Sexiest Movies

The movie box office this weekend was dominated by the phenomenon that is Fifty Shades of Grey, and regardless of your feelings about that particular movie (I shared my thoughts on Sunday), everyone loves a good sexy movie. The hope is that when you go to a movie that promises passion and chemistry (maybe even a little romance), it will actually deliver.

I saw a dozen or so articles this past week that touted "__ Movies Sexier Than Fifty Shades of Grey" with lists of, well... kinda pathetic recommendations. Movies that were romantic and mainstream, and a bit vanilla—not really sexy. That got me thinking about what I consider to be My Top Five Sexiest Movies, of which I had plenty to choose from. Movies that, and this goes without saying, I would recommend any day over Fifty Shades (not to add any hate!) if you're looking for something a bit more titillating.

Give these amazingly sexy movies a watch, and you'll know what I'm talking about:

5. Bound (1996)

Coming right out of her legendary performance in likely the least sexy movie of all time, Showgirls, Gina Gershon stars with cartoon-trapped-in-a-woman's-body, Jennifer Tilly, in the steamy crime thriller, Bound. This is the Wachowskis back when they were simply "The Wachowski Brothers" in their first directorial venture, and they knocked it out of the park. Violet (Tilly) plays the dutiful stay-at-home girlfriend to Caesar (Joe Pantoliano), a rough and brutal mafia goon. Complacent with life, Violent meets Corky (Gershon), an ex-con who drops by their apartment to perform some much needed plumbing work. No really!

Much to Violent's surprise, Corky's masculine energy pulls her in and they begin a heated, secret affair. Not only that, they decide to ban together to steal millions from Caesar's mob ties. The realistic lesbian love sequences are the reason Bound takes a place on this list. No fluff, no cheesy exaggerations... just the seductive pair that is Tilly and Gershon. I think every woman walked out of this movie wishing Gina Gershon would show up at their door with her toolbox.

4. The Dreamers (2003)

Director Bernardo Bertolucci has contributed his fair share of sexy flicks (Last Tango in Paris, Stealing Beauty), not all of them giving you the good, happy feelings, but The Dreamers is his love letter to sex and cinema. Set in Paris at the time of the student riots in 1968, American exchange student Matthew (Michael Pitt) meets fellow movie lovers and twins, Isabelle (Eva Green) and Theo (Louis Garrel). Enchanted by the siblings, Matthew gets enveloped in their tight-knit world, where the order of the day is sexual freedom, classic film appreciation, and revolution.

Eva Green as Isabelle is as close to a goddess as one can get, and it's no wonder that Matthew becomes enthralled by her and Theo's carefree and mysterious lives. The hyper-sexual group is bubbling over with passion and naivete, the dynamic is uncomfortable, but captivating—Bertolucci's sexiest film with a perfect cast. It doesn't hurt that they re-enact scenes from classic films, either.

3. The End of the Affair (1999)

Based on the novel by Graham Greene, the film chronicles the complicated and torrid affair of fictional novelist Maurice Bendrix (played by the delicious Ralph Fiennes) and Sarah Miles (Julianne Moore) in London during World War II. Bendrix' obsession with Sarah unfolds as we see how their affair began—right under the nose of her husband Henry (Stephen Rea)—and how it ends.

No one can play desperate passion like Ralph Fiennes. Their scenes are electric, and director Neil Jordan knows how best to construct an affair that the audience will root for. The sex scenes between our leads are enough to raise the bar on the sexy meter, but it's the scenes where they're not together in bed that pack the biggest punch. Unrequited sexual tension at its finest.

2. Lie With Me (2005)

It's the feeling of finding someone, the perfect someone, after drifting alone for so long. Lie With Me might be the least known on this list, but this Canadian flick is certainly one of the most memorable. Finally, a starring turn for Mr. Oh-That-Guy-What's-His-Name? himself, Eric Balfour. Balfour plays David, a promiscuous, apathetic man who, during a chance meeting, connects with the equally promiscuous and sexually charged Leila (Lauren Lee Smith). While their exploits begin as purely physical, their damaged perspectives on life bind them in what becomes a true romance.

Along with number 1 on this list, Lie with Me includes the more graphic of the sex scenes. The realism, however, only contributes to how captivating David and Leila's love actually is. Nothing makes us want two people to be together more than when they fool themselves into thinking they don't want it themselves. A steamy, romantic film without the sweeping score or tear-jerker ending.

1. The Lover (1992)

And that brings us to our top sexy film of all time. The only so-so adaptation of the book L'Amant by Marguerite Duras, it tells the story of a wealthy Chinese businessman (Tony Ka Fai Leung) in 1920's French Indonesia who woos a Lolita-esque French teenager (Jane March). Their names are never revealed to us. They begin an illicit affair, one that borderlines addiction, despite the fact that they know a future together is out of the question.

The film features sex scenes that are simultaneously graphic and beautiful. The odd pairing of Leung and March is what makes this movie unique, despite the fact that Leung has magnetic chemistry with every co-star he's ever had. There's something a bit grotesque about the romance between this unfathomable couple, but you're unable to look away from them. The excitement of young love from the Girl's perspective, and her lover's hopeless desperation to capture that same excitement of youth... Despite its flaws, the love scenes alone make this one of the sexiest movies of all time.

Those are my top picks! What are your favorite sexy movies?

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