Movie Review: Clunky “Kinky” lost its sexual nerve before the cameras rolled

 

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Bad acting by pretty people, chilly sex scenes acted out in mail order S&M wear, laughable dialogue and money money everywhere. What is this, “Fifty Shades of Ebony?”

That’s exactly what “Kinky” is. Flip the gender of the “I like to experiment” partner, give the hapless guy the ineptly-acted “I’m scared, but I’m intrigued/turned on” part, and that’s what “Kinky” is, an unintentionally funny “Whip me, Daddy, whip me hard” sexual melodrama that sets back sexuality 20 years.

Writer-director Jean-Claude La Marre writes really bad dialogue — “This is my…somewhat shy brother,” inane business conference banter and sloppy, unseductive seduction talk. He couldn’t find any big name players to star in this softer-than-softcore tale of an L.A. surgeon (Dawn Richards, billed as “Dawn” in the credits to pretend this never happened) who never, ever breaks a sweat.

Dr. Joyce Carmichael hits the gym, comes out of the operating room and gets busy in the sack with the same exertion-free/emotion-free cool. She’s beautiful, and men hit on her, but as her fey shrink (director La Marre) and her girlfriends note, she’s not one “to give these boys some play.”

Then this comically assertive fund manager (Gary Dourdan) stalks up to the table where the ladies are planning one of their number’s wedding, interrupts, lists his credits and hints at his fortune, and introduces that “shy” brother/business partner (Robert Ri’chard).

Dr. Joyce is into the brother. Fantasizes about him. She’s still into him even after he floods her hospital with flowers, as pushy as his older sibling. Shy? Not really. It’s the lunch date on his boat that seals the deal, and gives  the movie its first starchy attempt at erotica.

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La Marre, who got the not-much-better “Chocolate City” (an Ebony “Magic Mike”) on the screen, has more of an eye for a market opening than for casting and costuming and directing, more of an ear for “Who can I get for the soundtrack?” than dialogue.

Vivica A. Fox shows up and lends a little seasoned “Booty Call” spark as Joyce’s long-married, sexually frank sibling. She just reminds us how this might have gone with sharper performers demanding better scenes and dialogue.

The leads are every bit as bland as those pale “Fifty Shades” bores, the situations trite and everything that comes between them leaden, playing like filler.

Movies are usually chopped down to fit a running time. This one, with boat trips (a funny sexually suggestive moment with a fishing rod), shifting the gears on a plainly-automatic transmission Porsche and Dr. Joyce telling her tepid tales of sex or no sex to a shrink who seems more a gossipy girlfriend than board certified, is padded and padded some more to get it up to its running time.

It’s the filler, from the tepid opening church sermon about sexuality to too much leading up to the finale, that sticks in your mind in “Kinky.”

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MPAA Rating:R for strong sexual content, and some language

Cast: Dawn Richard, Robert Ri’chard, Darrin Dewitt Henson, Jean-Claude La Marre, Vivica A. Fox

Credits:Directed by Jean-Claude La Marre. A NuLite/Patriot Pictures release.

Running time: 1:38

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