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By Merle Bertrand | May 22, 2003

Hot dog! It’s been at least two weeks since I’ve heard about a film in which wizened twenty-somethings wax philosophically about love, life, sex and relationships. I guess it’s about time, then, that I watch a film like “Sexless.”
Andy (director Alex Holdridge) and Karen (Kelly Dealyn) have been virtually sexless as of late. Though stridently opposed to the institution on marriage, the young couple has decided to get married just the same for purely mercenary reasons: marriage is a requirement to land the teaching jobs in Japan over which they both drool. Yet, as the wedding day draws nearer, both grow restless and each turns their respective eyes towards the grass-is-greener opportunities that they suddenly seem to find everywhere. This is a situation made even more acute by the sexual problems they seem to be having within their own relationship.
Robert (Brian McGuire), meanwhile, silently suffers from a classic case of unrequited love for his longtime friend Carissa (Camille Chen). Though she’s weeks away from moving to Ithaca and though he’s terrified of ruining a friendship if things turn sour, Robert decides to go for it anyway. The result is a tsunami of change that floods his whole world and kicks his heretofore-languishing life into a whole new direction.
“Sexless” is undoubtedly a smartly written film, the production is generally right on the money in every technical aspect, and all the performances its young cast turn in are solid all the way throughout.
The main thing hurting Holdridges’s film, however, is its wholesale lack of originality, something that the film’s wryly quirky nature and snappy dialogue has no chance to overcome. Films like “Sexless” — the twenty-something romantic comedies — have simply become so commonplace as to become clichés. And while this one’s (slightly) better than most, its greatest benefit will ultimately be as a calling card for Holdridge to make bigger and better films in the future.

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