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Love & Sex

A writer on assignment for a women's magazine dredges up memories of her failed romances and zzzzzzzzzzzzzz ... Oops, nodded off there for a second.


In hot water with her boss, basket-case journalist Kate (Famke Janssen) must quickly come up with a single woman's guide to love and sex, a job for which she feels spectacularly unqualified since all of her own relationships have crashed and burned. It's especially painful for her to think about Adam (Jon Favreau), the sensitive artist who bought her kittens. Kate and Adam once seemed made for each other, but eventually they had to break up so that this romantic comedy would have a plot.


Janssen, who developed her chops in a slew of independent films between her cartoon-babe roles in "GoldenEye" and "X-Men," brings fresh intelligence and charm to what is otherwise a generic romantic-comedy heroine: Urban professional, great clothes, hopelessly confused about love. "Swingers" teddy bear Favreau is an offbeat choice for Mr. Right, but his character is too blandly nice to generate any real excitement in the romance department. Even "SNL's" Cheri Oteri can't get a laugh as the nutty best friend.


Writer-director Valerie Breiman's leaden feature debut suffers from an unfunny script that treads the same old "When Harry Met Sally" wannabe "Isn't everybody neurotic?" terrain. The central question of whether Kate and Adam will find a way to work out their differences never generates any believable tension because the post-breakup boyfriends are so obviously not end-up-with-the-girl material. The dramatic scenes with Janssen and Favreau are somewhat stronger, hinting at how well the actors might work together in... well, another movie.

Bottom line

"Love & Sex" is unlovable & unsexy. Aspiring indie auteurs tempted to play Woody Allen should be forced to watch it first.


Starring Famke Janssen, Jon Favreau, Noah Emmerich, Ann Magnuson and Cheri Oteri.

Written and directed by Valerie Breiman. Produced by Timothy Scott Bogart, Martin J. Barab and Brad Wyman. Released by Lions Gate.