Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (But Were Afraid to Ask) (1972)

Gene Wilder in Everything You Always Wanted to Know about SexEverything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* asks a lot of questions. Questions like “Do Aphrodisiacs Work?” and “What Happens During Ejaculation?” and “What is Sodomy?”

If you’re looking for answers – or a coherent feature length film – you’ll be disappointed. If you’re looking to watch Woody Allen’s series of sketches loosely parodying these questions, you’ll be satisfied. “What is Sodomy?” for example, tells the tale of a doctor (Gene Wilder) falling into with Daisy, who happens to be an Armenian sheep. “What Happens During Ejaculation?” asks the question by depicting the human body as a fifties science fiction contraption, controlled by dozens of men (including Burt Reynolds).

There are copious great jokes to be found in these sketches, ranging from incredibly dry humour to broad farce, and almost every sketch has a performance that makes it compelling even if the jokes don’t land. Woody Allen (who appears in four of the seven sketches), for example, is hilarious as a smarmy Italian impresario with a new wife, while Gene Wilder is weirdly captivating in his bovine romance. With only a couple exceptions, the sketches wear out their welcome, however, continuing past the point that they’ve sapped their premise of laughs.

3 stars

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