What is it about?
A polio survivor who survives on an iron lung looks to learn about sex by losing his virginity through a sex surrogate with the help of his caretakers, therapists, and priest.
Who is in it?
John Hawkes - Mark O'Brien
Helen Hunt - Cheryl
After her final session, Cheryl breaks down emotionally in her car after realizing how much she got out of the same sessions.
Mark: What's the chemistry in it all? When people are attracted to each other.
Cheryl: Are you attracted to me?
Mark: God, no.
Mark: I'm just talking hypothetically.
Cheryl: Hypothetically... they write poems. They have sex.
Mark: And what happens next?
Cheryl: After poetry and sex? Nothing or everything. The rest is by negotiation, as it were.
Mark: What do you mean?
Cheryl: I mean, you can leave it at love and attraction... or you can make things complicated, like most people do.
So often, we've seen movies handle the topic of sex with humor or simply through a childish progression to avoid the complexity and for some, the uncomfortable nature, of the subject. Based on a true story, The Sessions manages to take the topic of sex and present it in a thoughtful and refined matter through love, interest, curiosity, religion, necessity, disability, and attraction all while keeping the natural easing reaction of humor around the topic.
The Sessions is a film that really lends several morals, lessons, and provoking thoughts on sex, our relationships with others, our emphasis on personal relationships, the strength of communication, and the overall power and simplicity of sex. Most glaringly, it exposes how much we complicate all of the above.
John Hawkes was tremendous as the paralyzed Mark O'Brien, and kudos to Helen Hunt, who spent a good portion of the film without clothes, and still delivered a moving performance.
The Sessions is a great film that is entertaining, very funny, and leaves the viewer reevaluating many aspects of life.
A recommendation for sure.