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'Love & Sex'

The woman's side: A beauty is bright heroine of 'Love & Sex'

Friday, September 22, 2000

By Barbara Vancheri, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

"Love & Sex" is the sort of singles movie that men have been writing and making for years. This one, however, is told from a woman's perspective and it's ... about time.

'Love & Sex'

RATING: R in nature for adult language, sexual situations.

STARRING: Famke Janssen, Jon Favreau

DIRECTOR: Valerie Breiman

WEB SITE: www.loveandsex

CRITIC'S CALL: 2 1/2 stars


She gets to listen to an ex-boyfriend plead to get back together. She gets to have a fling with a hunky but airheaded actor who likes to practice his Robert De Niro imitation. She gets to toss off a zinger at a co-worker who makes cracks about single women being eight times angrier than married women. She gets to be the experienced one.

The unlucky-in-love heroine is a magazine writer named Kate. Since she is played by onetime model Famke Janssen, it's only natural that she has had her share of relationships (and then some) but they all have been failures.

She alienated her first beau by sharing news of their schoolyard love with a blabbermouth. She dated a morose stand-up comedian. She slept with a man who withheld key personal information from her. And she fell in love with Adam (Jon Favreau), an artist.

Kate and Adam are the heart of this breezy, often brightly written romantic comedy. They go through the early ecstasy and, later, the inevitable agony. Since this is a romantic comedy, you figure they belong together and you're just waiting for them to recognize the obvious. Will they or won't they?

"Love & Sex" has two very appealing leads in Janssen and Favreau -- an unlikely Mr. Perfect, his turn on "Friends" notwithstanding. He's a bundle of aggression, immaturity, male hormones and tenderness. He can pull off the Chandler-esque lines, as when he presents Kate with a caboodle of kittens: "I got them from the Chinese restaurant." He's kidding.

A sometime actress named Valerie Breiman churned this out in three weeks and then directed her own screenplay. "Love & Sex" takes familiar film elements -- lightweight women's magazine as workplace, mortifying first encounters, video-store visits, movie theater squabbles, jealousy over old flames -- and puts a feminist, R-rated gloss on them.

Breiman doesn't reinvent the genre, she just gives it a mini-makeover.

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