I'm not sure if Shortbus is porn masquerading as a serious movie, or a serious movie trying to be porn, but it sure was hard core! John Cameron Mitchell, the man behind Hedwig and the Angry Inch, put together an ensemble cast of mostly new actors to film a story about sex, hedonism and the quest for the Big O.
Shortbus focuses on two couples - Sofia and Rob are a married couple working out some problems, while James and Jamie are a gay couple drifting apart and are later joined by Ceth (that would be "Seth"), in more ways than one. Sofia, despite being a sex therapist (oops, she prefers "couple counselor"), says she is "pre-orgasmic", so she has never had an orgasm, despite all appearances to the contrary during the opening montage. After being told about Shortbus, a hedonistic club, by James & Jamie, she decides to check it out to see if it might help her over the hump, so to speak. Much sex, nudity and some pretty funny scenes follow, as she and Rob explores its depths, while James and Jamie work out their emotional problems with the help of a couple of other gay men.
Wow - not quite what I was expecting! And I'm not sure what Mitchell was trying to say, as the sex seemed to overwhelm the story. I'm not a prude, but some of the sexual antics were off putting to say the least. There were some pretty funny bits, and Justin Bond was a riot as the host (or is that hostess?) of the Shortbus. But the message, whatever it might have been, got lost in the play; but maybe that was the point? I don't know. I guess in the end I was mildly entertained, slightly embarrassed (sorry, just not into gay men having group sex), and happy to return it.