Sweet Talk Reinvents Phone Sex for Women -- From a Man's Ridiculous Perspective

<I>Sweet Talk</I> Reinvents Phone Sex for Women -- From a Man's Ridiculous Perspective

Recent films about women's sexuality like The To Do List and For a Good Time, Call . . . have grounded their characters' sexploits with subplots about female friendship.

Erica Jong would be proud.

But the quietly trailblazing Sweet Talk eschews such niceties, even to the point of neglecting character development. Instead, this extended erotic fantasy is single-minded in its exploration of what phone sex geared toward women's pleasure might look like.

Unfortunately, that's where writer Peter Lefcourt's imagination falters. His notions about female fantasies involve fur coats, ballrooms, and duels between men — essentially, the stuff of drugstore novels. Oh, and there's some garbage about how a man's interest in a partner plummets after sex, while the reverse is true for a woman.


Sweet Talk
Directed by Terri Hanauer
Available on demand

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The story: Catering to men's fantasies has jaded phone-sex operator Delilah (Natalie Zea). A hilarious early scene finds her reading Anna Karenina on one end of the couch, while her roommate and coworker (Lindsay Hollister) exaggeratedly moans for a customer while flossing her teeth on the other end.

Then a novelist (Jeffrey Vincent Parise), eager to convince Delilah of the creative potential of her line of work and allay his writer's block, calls in to collaborate on some very elaborate smut with her.

Cue several softcore scenes of the characters making love in historical settings and costumes. Yet the mustiness of many of the script's ideas hardly detracts from what feels like a radical premise, at least in film — that a woman can get off with a stranger and leave it at that. Erica Jong would be proud.

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