A mockumentaric doc-com stare at a couple trying to kick-start an erotically sparkless marriage, Unscrewed works in fits and starts, bearing some scars of its origin as improv. Joe and Mary (Hans Hoffman and Heather Smith), both well-off professionals, shell out a mint on therapists—including an icy Slavic urologist (director Leslie Shearing) and a tantric trio espousing “vulvic awareness”—who, predictably, only manage to ferret out the frustrations of their sex life one small, cryptic part at a time. The cross-wired confusion is most palpable when a hapless Mary—tastefully outfitted by the urologist in futuristic video goggles, genital monitors, and vibrator—brings herself to an autonomous conclusion. Hoffman and Smith are both stark and appropriately awkward (looking at times like the folks next door on HBO’s Real Sex) as they absorb each therapy’s bizarre rites. Even if actorliness sometimes invades the tired faux-doc form, Unscrewed is, in the end, a likable, wrinkly taint of a movie.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on February 1, 2005