Film

Haley Joel Osment Is Fine in Sex Ed Comedy Sex Ed

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Adult virgins are held in pretty much the same regard as post-transformation Gregor Samsa. In real life, they’re fairly rare, though not complete unicorns, and are often considered peculiar by the sexually active majority.

So virginity makes for a pretty good existential device for storytellers to isolate a character from the rest of humanity without actually turning him or her into a bug. In Sex Ed, directed by Coca-Cola Refreshing Filmmaker Isaac Feder, Haley Joel Osment’s virginal Ed Cole is a science teacher who can’t find a job during the recession. Hired by a Tampa district as a new “after-school activities coordinator,” he quickly determines that means he’s a junior-high detention monitor.

He realizes that the preadolescent kids know nothing about sex, and takes the opportunity to teach basic health and human sexuality, which, in conservative Tampa, is akin to playing with fire and gasoline-soaked kittens. His efforts to convince his students’ parents that their kids are dangerously misinformed dovetail with his own efforts to lose his virginity to the adult sister of a student.

Some stuff seems pretty implausible, like the panicked girl who thinks she has cancer because “I’m bleeding out my hoo-ha,” but then you remember that the U.S. is a huge and under-budgeted first-world nation consisting of third-world populations, where anything can and probably does happen sooner or later. Mildly funny and about 15 minutes too long, Sex Ed has a funny cast, particularly a kid played by Isaac White, who gets some hilariously rude dialogue.