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The most awkward sex scenes in movies (with video)

The most awkward sex scenes in movies (with video) (photo)

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Nothing can reach the heights (or is it depths?) of awkwardness quite like sex. Here are 11 such embarrassing moments in cinema, from the near-bestiality of “Howard the Duck” to Jason Biggs getting intimate with his mother’s baked goods in “American Pie” to the endless pounding (and yammering) of “Bridesmaids.” Never before has a turn-on seemed so… off.

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Howard the Duck (1986)

A film so appallingly misguided that we’re still waiting for it to be revealed as one big put-upon in the first place (kind of like producer George Lucas’ later “Star Wars” prequels), “Howard the Duck” reaches its lowest low with the would-be sex scene between Cleve-Land rocker chick Lea Thompson and a wisecracking, cigar-chomping alien duck. “Would-be” is enough to send anyone over the edge in this particular situation, though, as it dares to go beyond “Wrong” territory and into borderline bestiality — complete with a few seductive eyebrow-raises from the duck himself. Both fortunately and unfortunately in equal measures, Howard stops Lea before she gets completely naked, suddenly becoming possessed by the audience’s discomfort and outrage and putting a stop to all this before it goes completely batshit insane. Whew, that was close! “Howard, you really are the worst!” says Thompson at one point. Yeah.


Knocked Up (2007)

Having “pregnant sex” has its physical and practical challenges, and “Knocked Up” doesn’t shy away from really getting into the sordid details. The first attempted sexual position between Ben (Seth Rogen) and Alison (Katherine Heigl) has her on her back and him on top — “Just do it!” she exclaims, frustrated, but Ben can’t shake the image of his penis poking their unborn child in the face. Their next attempted position has him on his back and her riding him, but she quickly becomes self-conscious: “I know I look gross… my boobs are all mushy, it’s all like National Geographic.” The third and final attempted position has them on their sides and him doing her from behind; this looks like it might be the answer to all their problems — until he freaks out about feeling the baby kick. “It was a bad kick!” he exclaims, and again goes back to not being able to shake the image of poking the poor kid in the face with his cock. Thank you, Judd Apatow, for showing us the true consequences of a drunken one-night-stand.


Superbad (2007)

The somewhat harrowing sex scene between Becca (Martha MacIsaac) and Evan (Michael Cera) in “Superbad” is a classic example of your first time not being anywhere near how you imagined it would be. Becca is way drunk, and her attempts to arouse her partner with (rather adorable) “dirty talk” just aren’t working. “I’m so wet,” she whispers, to which he responds, “Yeah, they said that would happen… in Health…” It goes on like that for a while: Becca says something she thinks is going to turn the highly dubious scenario into a rousing session of writhing passion, and Evan counters with some sort of nervous hesitation. “I am going to give you the best Blow-J ever… with my mouth!” she squeals; “Why don’t we just kiss a lot?” he responds. “You have such a smooth cock,” she giggles; “Thank you, you would, too, if you were a man… ” This is a truly funny and ultimately heartbreaking scene that ends with her vomiting all over the damn place.


Can’t Hardly Wait (1998)

“Yo, I gotta have sex tonight!” So proclaims Kenny Fisher (Seth Green), aka Special K, a wannabe hip hop artist who vows to lose his virginity at the hottest high school graduation party in town. He’s armed and prepared for the endeavor with “The Love Kit,” a backpack full of sexual assists and enhancements, including but not limited to a “‘Fragrance of Love’-scented candle, bitch! Damn.” Once at the party, Kenny retreats to the bathroom to “get ready” — unfortunately, his warm-up exercises inspired by the writings of the Kama Sutra (another accessory of The Love Kit) lead to an unexpected case of “premature evacuation.” As he struggles to clean up the mess, Denise (Lauren Ambrose), who just had a brownie thrown at her face, enters the bathroom, catches sight of him and… well, this awkward moment becomes even more awkward after the handle on the bathroom door breaks off, locking them both in. They eventually have sex in the bathroom, though, so what started off as a train wreck turned into a home run, didn’t it?


American Pie (1999)

Jim: Guys, uh, what exactly does third base feel like?
Kevin: You want to take this one?
Chris “Oz” Ostreicher: Like warm apple pie.
Jim: Yeah?
Chris “Oz” Ostreicher: Yeah.
Jim: Apple pie, huh?
Chris “Oz” Ostreicher: Uh huh.
Jim: McDonald’s or homemade?

And you know what happens after that. One of the most bizarre images ever put to film — a teenage boy pleasuring himself with his mother’s homemade apple pie — actually leads to a touching scene of father-son bonding, as Jim’s Dad tries to turn the beyond embarrassing moment into an opportunity to talk man-to-man about this sort of stuff. “I have to admit, you know, I did the fair bit of… masturbating when I was a little younger. I used to call it stroking the salami, yeah, you know, pounding the old pud. I never did it with baked goods, but you know your Uncle Mort, he pets the one-eyed snake five to six times a day!” Leave it to Jim’s Dad to try to make the most of such a situation. Yeah, this bit of cinematic sexual deviance seems rather tame today, but back in 1999, oh boy was it a doozy.


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Jackie That 70s Show

Jackie Oh!

15 That ’70s Show Quotes to Help You Unleash Your Inner Jackie

Catch That '70s Show Mondays and Tuesdays from 6-10P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Carsey-Werner Company

When life gets you down, just ask yourself, what would Jackie do? (But don’t ask her, because she doesn’t care about your stupid problems.) Before you catch That ’70s Show on IFC, take a look at some quotes that will help you be the best Jackie you can be.


15. She knows her strengths.

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14. She doesn’t let a little thing like emotions get in the way.

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13. She’s her own best friend.

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12. She has big plans for her future.

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11. She keeps her ego in check.

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10. She can really put things in perspective.

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9. She’s a lover…

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8. But she knows not to just throw her love around.

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7. She’s proud of her accomplishments.

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6. She knows her place in the world.

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5. She asks herself the hard questions.

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4. She takes care of herself.

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3. She’s deep.

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2. She’s a problem solver.

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1. And she’s always modest.

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Have comedy, won’t travel

Have comedy, won’t travel (photo)

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How do you like your comedies? Gross-out? Witty? Physical? Well however you like them, I hope you like ‘em cheaply produced, because that’s how you’re going to get them for the foreseeable future, according to a report in The Los Angeles Times. Ben Fritz writes that several factors — most notably the decline in DVD sales and comedies’ relative unpopularity overseas — have forced Hollywood to drastically scale back on their budgets. The days of $50 million dollar plus budgets for comedies may be coming to an end, replaced by more films like “Bad Teacher,” which was made, according to the Times, for just $19 million, including $1 million for star Cameron Diaz (as opposed to her $8 million fee for last year’s “Knight and Day”).

My first reaction is “Well, duh.” Why in the world do you need $50 million to make a comedy anyway? You don’t. Comedy is one of those rare cinematic commodities that can’t be improved by throwing money at it. If your giant transforming robots don’t look so hot, you can pay for better special effects. Other than paying for a better screenwriter, how else can you throw money after comedy? You can’t.

But there’s a bigger problem here, one that’s been on my mind since I wrote that piece about movie stars last week and spent a lot of time looking at the recent international grosses, and that’s this idea that a lot of American comedies don’t gross well overseas. And since foreign box office is becoming more and more important, that has made comedies less and less desirable for studios. As a test case, let’s look at some recent films by Will Ferrell and compare their American and foreign grosses. I’m excluding teeny tiny movies like “Everything Must Go,” just because those are a different story altogether. All numbers come from Box Office Mojo (where else?):

“Megamind” (2010)
AMERICAN BOX OFFICE TOTAL: $148.4 million
FOREIGN BOX OFFICE TOTAL: $173.4 million

“The Other Guys” (2010)
AMERICAN BOX OFFICE TOTAL: $119.2 million
FOREIGN BOX OFFICE TOTAL: $51.2 million

“Land of the Lost” (2009)
AMERICAN BOX OFFICE TOTAL: $49.4 million
FOREIGN BOX OFFICE TOTAL: $19.3 million

“Step Brothers” (2008)
AMERICAN BOX OFFICE TOTAL: $100.4 million
FOREIGN BOX OFFICE TOTAL: $27.6 million

“Semi-Pro” (2008)
AMERICAN BOX OFFICE TOTAL: $33.4 million
FOREIGN BOX OFFICE TOTAL: $10.4 million

“Blades of Glory” (2007)
AMERICAN BOX OFFICE TOTAL: $118.5 million
FOREIGN BOX OFFICE TOTAL: $27.1

With the exception of the animated “Megamind,” Will Ferrell’s movies do not travel well abroad. They routinely (and kind of shockingly) draw 75% of their total worldwide earnings in the United States alone. Whether Ferrell’s movies are hits (like “Blades of Glory”) or flops (like “Last of the Lost”) here hardly seems to matter. Winner or loser, they’re always losers overseas.

This isn’t true of all American comedians. Adam Sandler regularly grosses just as much overseas as he does in the U.S. (his last film, “Just Go With It,” made $103 million domestically and $111 million internationally.). I guess Cajun Man is funny wherever you are.

I completely understand the reasons why some comedies don’t survive their exportation. Filmmakers like Judd Apatow are working with particular phrasings of language and culturally specific touchstones. Part of the reason American audiences love those movies is because they speak to some fundamental part of the American experience, one that some international audiences might not be able to relate to. Unfortunately, what makes these movies worth seeing here is the same thing dooming them at the foreign box office.

But just because I understand this phenomenon doesn’t mean I like it. This is just the latest and maybe the most frustrating example of the mass mainstreaming of American movie culture. It’s not enough to for a movie to be good, it has to translate too. Giant transforming robots translate. A God with a badass magical hammer translates. A joke about Michael McDonald playing on an endless loop in box electronic stores doesn’t translate. It’s almost as if we’ve returned to the silent era of film: dialogue is out and visual storytelling is in. These aren’t sound films; they’re noise films.

Let’s hope this only means the shrinking of comedy budgets, not the removal of comedies from Hollywood development slates altogether. I’m a little worried that some day they’ll be gone completely, or replaced by comedies starring the robots from “Transformers.” Or maybe we’re approaching a dystopian world where all movies star the robots from “Transformers”: “Transformers” comedies, “Transformers” romances, “Transformers” eco-docs.

Okay, so maybe that last one would be kind of interesting.

In Defense of “Drive Angry”

In Defense of “Drive Angry” (photo)

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Like a movie about a firefighter killing terrorists right after 9/11, or a movie called “Looters” right after the 1992 Los Angeles riots, “Drive Angry” was a victim of bad timing. Sold primarily as a 3D movie right as audiences began to tire of 3D (“SHOT IN 3D!” the trailers probably shouldn’t have boasted), on the backend of a wave of cruddy Nicolas Cage movies, it basically had no chance at the box office. And with just over $10 million in domestic receipts in the box office, less than half of Cage’s January release “Season of the Witch,” that’s exactly what it got.

I understand why people stayed away, but I’m here to tell you, “Drive Angry” is well worth a Friday night rental. It’s a saucy little exploitation picture, with a feisty, well-cast Cage as a man possessed. Remember when Nicolas Cage was the guy who played the awkward everyman nerd in action movies? And he sometimes needed Sean Connery to show him how to kick ass? Yeah, those days are long gone. Now a murdering, muscle car driving avenger from hell is about as close to an everyman as he gets. And we love him for it! Who cares if he’s 47 and slightly jowly? Who cares if his hair looks like it’s made from the stuff they sweep off the floor of the American Girl Doll Hair Salon? The man is having so much fun in this movie it’s infectious.

Cage plays John Milton, a dead man who escapes from Hell on a mission of revenge; that Cage’s character shares a name with the author of “Paradise Lost” and likes to shoot people while he’s having (fully clothed) intercourse with a barmaid, gives you a good indication of the movie’s intelligence level and temperament. Milton’s pursued by the always dependable “that guy” William Fichtner, in the leading role of a lifetime of supporting turns as The Accountant, a relentless agent of the underworld sent to return Milton to his rightful place in eternal damnation. I won’t spoil just what Milton is doing back on planet Earth, but it involves Billy Burke’s Jonah King, a religious leader who must be a bad guy because a)he walks around with a cane made out of a dead girl’s femur and b)he has a soul patch. I don’t know which one’s worse.

“Drive Angry”‘s plot has more holes than the grill of Milton’s Chevrolet Chevelle. Honestly? Who cares. The film is ludicrous and proud. Milton’s sidekick is the fetching Amber Heard, whose impossibly luxurious mane of flaxen hair maintains its shine and bounce in even the fiercest of gunfights. His nemesis casually tosses off lines like “It’d be bloody easy for me to shoot you in the throat and watch you gurgle while I eat my morning grapefruit.” And since it was shot in 3D there’s all sorts of shrapnel and bullets and spittle flying at the camera lens, even though most people will watch this movie at home in 2D (there is a 3D Blu-ray, if your home theater is equipped to handle such a thing).

I actually like the movie with 2D 3D effects. They remind me of all the schlocky formerly 3D exploitation pictures I used to watch on VHS as a kid. Releasing a 3D film in 2D strips it bare of any artistic pretense — these are carnival rides, plain and simple, and some of the attractions aren’t even working right now, so just stay in your seats until your car comes to a full and a complete stop. It also lends them a literal in-your-face attitude. A little aggressiveness is never a bad thing in an action movie.

With its gritty driving sequences, vindictive demons, and hellfire-spewing guns, “Drive Angry” is a way more satisfying adaptation of the “Ghost Rider” comic book than the “Ghost Rider” movie that Nicolas Cage was also the star of. In that case, he was required to tamp down a little bit of that Cage craziness we know and love to try to fit our notions of a super-hero. As Milton, he has noble intentions, but he’s also a bloodthirsty killer out for revenge. And without spoiling too much, that gives him license to do stuff like drink beer out of a dead guy’s skull. If that’s not your idea of a good night at home with a rented movie and some popcorn, then we have nothing left to discuss. Good night and drive safely (and angry).

“Drive Angry” is now available on DVD, Blu-ray, and 3D Blu-ray. Do you think the film got a bum rap too? Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter!

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