A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that 365 Days is a 2020 erotic film in Polish, Italian, and English (with English subtitles). Its popularity has raised the question on social media regarding whether the movie's graphic sex scenes record actors actually having sex. The story is based on the Polish trilogy 365 dni by Blanka Lipinska. A handsome gangster glimpses a woman and then spends years searching the world for her. When he finds her, he kidnaps the woman, locks her away, and "gives" her a year to fall in love with him. Lots of lustful looks and touches precede all-out sex, including a scene in which he chains her to a bed while another woman gives him oral sex. No genitals are shown, but the movie offers many graphic sex scenes with bared breasts and bottoms, and a number of positions from the Kama Sutra and other sexual how-to manuals. While fans of titillation will find much to enjoy here, the message is a dangerous one: that when overpowering men are involved, women say "no" but mean "yes." A few murders are thrown in on the side, and language includes "f--k," "s--t," "ass," "d--k," "piss," "hell," "damn," and "wop." Characters smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol to excess. Cocaine is mentioned, as is sex trafficking of young girls.
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- Kids say
What's the story?
In 365 DAYS, Massimo (Michele Morrone, a model, actor, and singer who contributed songs to the soundtrack) is a tall, handsome, and brooding Sicilian gangster whose father was shot in front of his eyes. At that moment, he glimpsed Laura (Anna Maria Sieklucka) and became obsessed with finding her and making her fall in love with him. When he locates her, instead of wooing her, he drugs and kidnaps her, imprisons her, and tells her she has 365 days to fall in love with him. If she doesn't, he will let her go. She struggles to escape and he violently stops her, at times putting his large hand gruffly around her neck to keep her from running. He ominously warns her, "Don't provoke me," and notes that he doesn't tolerate "disobedience," suggesting that in his view, a kidnap victim ought to buckle to his orders and desires. At the same time, he "gallantly" promises never to do anything sexual without her permission, and then puts his hand on her breast and later slips his hand down her pants while she's tied up. Laura is a bundle of contradictions herself, walking around naked to tease him but also adamantly resistant to his advances. She tries to escape but is thwarted by bodyguards and police on the take. Eventually, she gives in to her lust for the towering Massimo, suggesting that, for all their protestations, women just want to be dominated by gruff alpha males. The film ends abruptly with a planned, unexplained murder, paving the way for a sequel.
Is it any good?
Although weirdly entertaining in its own sleazy way, this is an adolescent boy's dream about what women want, a sexual fantasy to "prove" that women who say "no" really mean "yes." Poorly written and largely ridiculous in its attempt to portray human character (and in its blatant rip-off of Fifty Shades of Grey and nod to Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew), 365 Days will nevertheless titillate those patient enough to wade through terrible dialogue and senseless plot to get to the erotica. Given that Netflix deems two minutes of watching time an official "view," it's possible that many are skipping to erotic scenes without watching the self-important rot in between.
The gangster seemingly proves his nobility when he promises he'll never do anything without Laura's permission, but then promptly puts one hand on her breast and the other around her neck as she tries to writhe away. Uh, perhaps it's time to revisit the definition of "permission"? Most extraordinary and blatantly misogynist are sympathetic nods by Massimo's friends to how difficult Laura is, as if experienced and knowing men of the world are often forced to tolerate temperamental women, ignoring completely that Laura's contrariness isn't a sign of diva tendencies, but rather the normal response of someone trying to run from her captor. That Laura flaunts her sexuality in front of Massimo might imply she's asserting her power, but it reads as if the movie believes women are teases who want to "succumb" to powerful men, providing ammunition for men who argue that women just want to be treated roughly and dominated. At least the 1993 film Indecent Proposal used money to incentivize a woman's sexual surrender to unwanted male attention rather than suggesting that women are turned on by domineering and brutal men who take what they want.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why 365 Days has become so popular despite its less-than-stellar script, editing, plot, and direction. Do you think the depiction of pretty people having sex is enough to generate such popularity, or is something else at work?
Netflix subscribers in the United States have access to this film. Do you think it would be as popular if people had to go to the trouble of downloading and paying for it? Why or why not?
Do you think erotica has value? Do you think it's important that only adults have access to such materials? Why or why not?
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