Scenes of a Sexual Nature (2006)   3/53/53/53/53/5


Adrian Lester and Catherine Tate in Scenes of a Sexual Nature

Hampstead Happenings

Let's get one thing straight "Scenes of a Sexual Nature" may have a suggestive title and take place on Hampstead Heath but this is not a movie about sex or even a sex comedy, the closest to sex comes from Tom Hardy with his trousers around his ankles. Nope what "Scenes of a Sexual Nature" is an observational movie which looks at love and romance via the relationships of 7 couples be it an elderly couple who meet on a park bench and reminisce or an amiable couple going through a divorce. As such "Scenes of a Sexual Nature" is a very different sort of movie, a movie which despite an incredible amount of British talent was made on a shoe string budget, but it is a movie which doesn't quite work and sadly whilst the views of Hampstead Heath are lovely it actually ends up quite dull.

The simplest way to explain "Scenes of a Sexual Nature" is to say it doesn't have a central story; instead it has a central location of Hampstead Heath where everything takes place. And what takes place is that we have 7 couples, not really linked, but are dealing with issues of love and romance and we observe what happens. So we meet Pete who meets up with his wife Sara and daughter, they get on brilliantly, they are in love but they are getting divorced in a very amicable manner. Why, well we learn why and in doing so we observe what went wrong in their relationship. And so this goes on as we observe these 7 couples with their romantic problems from gay couples through to old couples and so on.

Now on one hand there is something quite clever about this or at least interesting as the 7 different issues surrounding love and romance are real. But then sadly it is also very dull because there is nothing linking it all together we go from one vignette to another, we may go back to one again but there is nothing really driving it forwards. If somehow these stories had been connected in some 6 degrees of separation style way rather than just all being on Hampstead Heath maybe it would have worked but they all feel so isolated only linked by location. It means that whilst each vignette has a point and a different angle on what love means you begin to lose interest because some are more interesting than others.

The saving grace to "Scenes of a Sexual Nature" comes from two things and of those is that Hampstead Heath looks absolutely brilliant, grabbing your attention when a vignette isn't. The other is the occasional moment of humour, be it Pete desperately trying to go for a pee behind the bush only to constantly being disturbed or Noel trying to chat up anything in a skirt in his own wide boy way. There is also the remarkable amount of talent which includes the likes of Ewan McGregor, Hugh Bonneville, Andrew Lincoln, Adrian Lester, Mark Strong and Catherine Tate but there isn't one stand out performance, although you have to love Tom Hardy's horny wide boy antics.

What this all boils down to is that "Scenes of a Sexual Nature" is something different with it's observational look at romance through 7 couples on Hampstead Heath. And whilst it is initially interesting it sadly ends up quite dull because there is nothing central other than Hampstead Heath to link these 7 different couples. As such "Scenes of a Sexual Nature" ends up memorable for an impressive cast and Tom Hardy whose wide boy antics provide some relief to the observational drama.

Tags: British Romantic Comedies


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