Film Review


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The Pill

Noah Bean and Rachel Boston bareback in J.C. Koury’s The Pill. [Photo: Shoot First Entertainment]

The Pill 1.5 out of 4

star1-5

In The Pill, Fred (Noah Bean) and Mindy (Rachel Boston, one to watch) are perfectly harmless white heterosexuals—the kind with kookie French parents (her) and anal-retentive girlfriends (him)—who have a one-night stand without wearing a condom. When Mindy acts nonchalantly about the whole thing even though she's not on birth control (apparently HIV isn't a concern), Fred freaks out and tries to convince her to take the morning-after pill. Mindy says she's against it because of her religion.

At first it's hard to tell if Minday's just fucking with Fred as some sort of civil-disobedience act or performance art piece that aims to teach a lesson to straight boys who place sexual responsibility on the woman. Unfortunately, this isn't that kind of a movie. Fred spends the rest of The Pill pretending to be really into Mindy (convincingly to her, blatantly unconvincingly to us) so that he can make sure she takes the first and second pills required for Plan B to actually work.

This may have worked better as a film with an actual reason for being if these were men-who-have-sex-with-men worrying over the anxieties around barebacking. The issues at stake may have been more sustainable. At the very least, The Pill could have been a pleasant exercise in screenwriting sharpness if Fred and Mindy's situation had been confined and (un-)resolved within the confines of its very promising first scene. It takes place at Mindy's apartment, where they play drinking games, he dodges the "Do you have a girlfriend?" question, and she blames the several used condoms he eventually sees strewn about the room on her nonexistent roommate.

The situation loses its appeal once we leave this original premise and Mindy's strangeness begins to look like mere naiveté. She's just a horny girl who dares to be as casual about Russian-roulette sex as the next straight guy. We meet her annoying, "bisous"-spouting parents, his controlling girlfriend (Anna Chlumsky, a caricature here) who keeps track of how many condoms there are in the drawer, and what begins as a puzzling situation with rather competent dialogue soon founders into a formulaic denouement.

Director(s): J.C. Khoury Screenwriter(s): J.C. Khoury Cast: Rachel Boston, Noah Bean, Anna Chlumsky Runtime: 83 min Rating: NR Year: 2011

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