A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that A Guide to Second Date Sex is a British comedy, about a young man and woman on an incredibly awkward second date, and features adult themes. Due to the nature of the story, sex is referenced often and depicted onscreen -- including intercourse, oral sex, and masturbation -- though with little actual nudity. There is frequent strong language -- including "f--k" and "s--t" -- and serious issues such as pedophilia are mentioned in passing. The couple -- Laura (Alexandra Roach) and Ryan (George MacKay) -- meet in a club setting and consume alcohol through much of the movie. They are both seen to be drunk -- as are others around them -- and there are a number of instances where cigarettes are smoked. Characters try to impress each other and do things they are uncomfortable with in both social and sexual situations, which does not offer a positive message for younger viewers. On some platforms the movie is called 2nd Date Sex.
What's the story?
In A GUIDE TO SECOND DATE SEX, Laura (Alexandra Roach) and Ryan (George MacKay) meet in a club and experience an alcohol-fueled spark. They arrange a second date, but between baggage from previous relationships and terrible advice from friends, they are both unbearably nervous and unable to be themselves. An awkward evening unravels, in which housemates disrupt the flow, an unexpected visitor causes an explosive row, and Laura walks out more than once. Can they drop the pretense and open up to each other honestly or is this second date destined to be their last?
Is it any good?
Written by Rachel Hirons and her debut feature film as director, this moive has a strong premise at a time when realistic dating scenarios and flawed characters are popular tropes. Unfortunately it suffers in comparison to its more cleverly-crafted peers -- see Fleabag and Sex Education. Roach and MacKay embody relatable characters, but struggle to maintain momentum in what is essentially a two-hander without much support.
The pacing of A Guide to Second Date Sex is very uneven. The beginning is intercut with the high energy of the drunken first "date," while the middle is slow and drawn-out. The result is a dramatic climax that fails to hit the spot. Perhaps the material -- adapted from Hirons' stage play -- may have been better suited to a 30-minute episode than a full feature film.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how A Guide to Second Date Sex portrays sex. How do Laura and Ryan approach it? Is it affectionate? Respectful? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values regarding sex and relationships.
Talk about the strong language in the movie. Does it seem necessary or excessive? What does it contribute to the movie?
How does the movie present drinking? Do you think the characters drink too much? Does their behavior seem realistic/believable? Are there consequences for what they do?
Both Laura and Ryan adapt their behavior for the date. Why do they feel they need to do so? Discuss the idea of being true to yourself and why that's important.
How do Laura and Ryan change during the movie and what do they learn?
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