Love & Sex (2000)

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Released 23-Oct-2001

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Romantic Comedy Main Menu Audio
Dolby Digital Trailer-Canyon
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2000
Running Time 79:05 (Case: 76)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Valerie Brieman
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Famke Janssen
Jon Favreau
Noah Emmerich
Cheri Oteri
Anne Magnuson
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $34.95 Music Pierpaolo Tiano
Billy White Acre


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    In the tradition of advertising exaggeration and puffs, I think it's a fairly safe bet to assume that a film entitled Love & Sex is probably not really about hard core nudge nudge wink wink say no more stuff but more about a quirky romantic relationship. That's what I thought before I watched it, and I was right. Despite the M 15+ rating (the film was also released in the USA with an "unrated" rating which meant adults only), the "adult" content in this film is fairly mild, and certainly milder than your average Sex in the City TV episode. The film probably has more in common with a Nora Ephron romantic comedy (When Harry Met Sally, You've Got Mail etc.) than a video you can only purchase from Fyshwyck, ACT.

    Kate (Famke Janssen) is a writer for a women's magazine who has had a number (thirteen, to be exact) of unsatisfying relationships with men and is becoming depressed about it. After being asked by the magazine's editor to submit an article about relationships containing "2,500 happy, perky words" she starts reminiscing about her previous experiences starting from junior school to her latest.

    Most of the film is about her relationship with Adam (Jon Favreau), who is an artist who paints rather disturbing pictures, although there is a rather funny synopsis of her very brief relationship with Eric (Noah Emmerich), and an even funnier cameo encounter with a Jehovah's Witness (David Schwimmer).

    The film chronicles her relationship with Adam, which lasted several years, from the time they met when she attended one of his art exhibitions. Over the course of the film, the future of their relationship is tested to the limits, especially when Adam finds out he has a competitor called Joey Santino (Josh Hopkins), ironically an actor who stars in B-grade action flicks that he loves and Kate hates.

    Will Kate end up with Adam or Joey? Will she ever finish writing that 2,500 article for the magazine or get fired? The film's ending is rather predictable for me, but may not be what you expected (quite a few people I know thought she chose the wrong person).

    This is a film written and directed by Valerie Brieman, and I think she tries very hard to make it work as a scintillating Nora Ephron-style romantic comedy. The dialogue is peppered by one- and two-liners and I can't help comparing it with When Harry Met Sally, which it clearly aspires to emulate. Jon Favreau in particular seem to be trying very hard to act, walk and talk like Billy Crystal, and Famke Janssen has more than a passing resemblance to Sandra Bullock. In the end, I think that's what's wrong with the film - the actors and the storyline are trying very hard to be like someone or something else.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This is an 1.85:1 transfer presented in what is presumably it's original aspect ratio, with 16x9 enhancement.

    I watched the trailer prior to watching the main feature. Surprisingly, I found the video transfer quality of the trailer to be superior to the transfer quality of the main feature, not that the transfer quality is necessarily bad. It's just that the transfer quality of the trailer was hot-diggity good, pretty much near perfect.

    The video transfer quality of the film itself is high, but several notches below that of the trailer. Sharpness and shadow detail levels are excellent, though not consistent and the film occasionally ventures into soft territory. In particular, the detail of the tree bark around 1:23-1:30 is particularly pleasing.

    Colour saturation is pretty much perfect and consistent with the newness of the film.

    What I found problematic about the transfer is the presence of extremely low-level grain, and very minor Gibb's effect ringing which occasionally accentuates the grain. Most of the time, the graininess is not really an issue, though it left me with a subliminal sense of dissatisfaction. The grain is particularly noticeable when a scene fades in and out.

    There is an English for the Hearing Impaired subtitle track. I turned it on briefly. The subtitle track is quite well presented, with subtitles generally positioned close to the person speaking the dialogue, and the subtitling includes lyrics to songs sung as well as auditory cues and emotional states in voices.

    Finally, given the short length of the film (79:05), it is presented on a single sided single layered disc.



Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There is only one audio track: English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 Kb/s). The transfer quality of the audio track is similar to the transfer quality of the film.

    In general, it is a very pleasing audio track to listen to and the background music in particular is well integrated and of high quality. The guitar music at the beginning in particular sounded very pleasant.

     Dialogue quality is not consistent, however, and ranges from 'spot-on crisp' to slightly 'fuzzy', and I suspect that the film relies rather heavily on ADR. Some dialogue in particular sounds slightly distorted, such as when Mary shouts "Does anybody have any stretch marks?" at around 5:40-5:42.

    This is a very dialogue and front focused soundtrack. I don't think I ever detected more than faint ambience coming from the rear speakers and the subwoofer looked expectantly at me the entire time but didn't say anything.



Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    The extras on this disc are limited to the theatrical trailer.

Menu

    The menus are static but 16x9 enhanced and feature gentle guitar music as the background audio.

Dolby Digital Trailer-Canyon

    This is an incredibly LOUD rendition of the Canyon trailer.

Theatrical Trailer (2:20)

    As mentioned before, I was highly impressed by the video transfer quality of this 16x9 enhanced presentation of the trailer. It is presented with Dolby 2.0 Surround sound.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;

    The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;

    The extra features on the Region 1 disc are not compelling, so I wouldn't really prefer one over the other. The featurette included in the Region 2 version of the disc sounds interesting, but is not substantial enough to make me rush out and get the Region 2 version.

Summary

    Love & Sex tries very hard to be a witty and scintillating romantic comedy, but I think it would worked better if it didn't try so hard and learnt to relax. It is presented on a disc with above average, though not perfect, video and audio transfers and minimal extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Christine Tham (read my biography)
Thursday, September 13, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-626D, using Component output
DisplaySony VPL-VW10HT LCD Projector, ScreenTechnics 16x9 matte white screen (254cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVR-3300
SpeakersFront and rears: B&W CDM7NT; centre: B&W CDMCNT; subwoofer: B&W ASW2500

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