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Movies & TV

26th Oct 2023

REVIEW: How To Have Sex should be seen by every 15-year-old

Rory Cashin

How To Have Sex

How To Have Sex will have a limited cinematic release but definitely deserves to be sought out.

Not to sound like “Old Man Yells At Cloud”, but How To Have Sex is one of those movies that absolutely should be seen by every teenage person venturing towards the precipice of adulthood.

Kicking off in celebratory mode – first holiday without the parents, celebrating the end of school, woo! – the entire trip takes a turn when the fantasy and reality collide in the worst way possible.

Three 16-year-old best friends – Tara (Mia McKenna-Bruce), Skye (Lara Peake) and Em (Enva Lewis) – arrive in the Crete costal town of Malia with just two goals: get drunk and get laid. This means even more for Tara, the only virgin in the group, and things are looking up when their neighbouring hotel room contains two eye-catching lads, Badger (Shaun Thomas) and Paddy (Samuel Bottomley).

Tara and Badger take an immediate liking to each other, but during a particularly hedonistic night out, she ends up on the beach with Paddy, and through an incredibly uncomfortable back-and-forth, the resulting sex scene completely changes the tone of every scene of the movie from that moment on.

Check out the How To Have Sex trailer above

Before hand, it was all candy lipgloss and pounding EDM soundtrack and the girls telling each other how much they love each other as they hold their hair back to get sick in the toilet after one too many fishbowls of iridescent cocktails.

Afterwards, Tara – via a staggeringly layered performance by McKenna-Bruce – finds herself forced to endure the remainder of her holiday in a different state of mind, no longer comfortable around her friends, finding moments of solace with complete strangers, attempting to numb herself with the music and booze.

Writer/director Molly Manning Walker applies a light touch throughout, never making it feel like you’re watching an after-school special about enthusiastic consent, but a perfectly realised voyage through the giddy highs that should accompany this kind of holiday, and the nightmarish lows that definitely shouldn’t.

Managing to be both highly cinematic about a topic that sadly continues to be vitally important, How To Have Sex arrives in cinemas on Friday 3 November.

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