On a cold, winter morning, Sydney (Amber Stonebraker) wakes from a one-night stand with Darrell (Al’Jaleel McGhee) after the premiere of Darrell’s new movie the night before. Thus begins the awkward “morning after” conversation in writer/director Jon Garcia’s Sex Weather.
The nature of Sydney and Darrell’s relationship slowly reveals itself over the course of the film through the basic story structure of small chit-chat, deep conversation, then sex. A cycle that repeats itself several times before Sex Weather reaches its ultimate conclusion.
At the film’s start, we discover that Sydney and Darrell are actors just wrapping up a production. They hooked up that night in Sydney’s apartment before going their separate ways. Tensions are high for the two. Sydney was not impressed with Darrell’s sexual performance, and Darrell persuades her to let him try again. Yes, much better the second time around.
“…not impressed with Darrell’s sexual performance, and Darrell persuades her to let him try again.”
Initially, Sydney wants Darrell to leave, but Darrell intends to pursue the potential relationship. Feeling lazy, the two decide to play a little game of Let’s-Have-Sex-All-Day. In order to play, there are rules. Rule one, be honest. Rule two, neither can wear clothes or leave the bed for any reason. Over the film’s 88-minute runtime, its action takes place in Sydney’s bed with dialogue broken up by either sex or a moment of mutual masturbation. Probably should mention there is ample nudity, sure to delight both sexes.
Immediately one might be turned off by a talking heads movie because it’s basically all conversation, broken up by…did I mention there’s a lot of sex (nothing you could call porn though). Their discussion hits a few themes like self-image, being in relationships, and living life. Darrell is probably the more practical of the two. He’s insecure about his future and his relationships. To him, this one-night stand is an attempt at a long-term relationship. Sydney, on the other hand, lives life in the moment, a free-spirit who can’t commit to a relationship because she’s not that good at them.
In general, I’m not the biggest fan of talking movies, but Sex Weather thankfully manages to avoid the pitfalls associated with talkies. I’ll start with the film’s likable and real characters. Amber Stonebraker and Al’Jaleel McGhee make a fantastic pair with enough to like about their roles without growing annoyed. Sure, they’re naked (although covered with sheets most of the time) but somehow this gives them a sweet and uninhibited performance.
“…somehow this gives them a sweet and uninhibited performance.”
The second pitfall, they avoid, and the most important is their dialogue feels real, especially when it comes to introspection about themselves and one another. The script avoids the need to be overly philosophical or needing to say the most melodramatic clichés. The dialogue is about the two of them and what they want, need, and expect from the other. This makes the 88-minute journey worth taking.
It’s important to know what you’re getting into with Sex Weather. It is two-people talking on a bed, which may not be your cup of tea. The drama and story are good in its insightfulness about relationships, but nothing life-shattering or metaphysically profound. It’s just a good film with two outstanding performances about an unusual, yet authentic, love story.
Sex Weather (2018) Written and directed by Jon Garcia. Starring Amber Stonebraker, Al’Jaleel McGhee.
7 out of 10 stars