United Artists | Release Date: August 6, 1972
6.4
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Generally favorable reviews based on 9 Ratings
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7
SpangleAug 30, 2017
Right when you think you saw the weirdest film ever, something like Woody Allen's Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex But Were Afraid to Ask comes along. An episodic adaptation of David Reuben's book of the same name, the film asksRight when you think you saw the weirdest film ever, something like Woody Allen's Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex But Were Afraid to Ask comes along. An episodic adaptation of David Reuben's book of the same name, the film asks seven questions about sex that wind up putting the characters in hysterical and absurd situations. Featuring Woody Allen as a court fool in medieval times trying to sleep with the queen, Gene Wilder as a general practitioner who has sex with a hot sheep named Daisy, Woody Allen as an Italian whose new wife can only orgasm when they have sex in public, Lou Jacobi as a transvestite, a rabbi who likes to be tied up while his wife eats pork and a model whips him, a giant boob that spits out half & half while killing people in a small town, and Woody Allen as a sperm being ejaculated while Burt Reynolds works in the man's brain to ensure the sexual encounter goes smoothly, this film is nuts. Honestly, it is like a cinematic fever dream to the point that it is nearly impossible to believe it is all actually happening.

Due to the film being an anthology, it is perhaps best to approach this differently than many of my other reviews. Given Allen's structure of a Q&A format, I will lift that for this review.

Q: Do Aphrodisiacs Work?
A: Set in medieval England, court jester Woody Allen uses a love potion on the Queen only to meet some difficulty regarding her chastity belt. That said, the love potion certainly worked, so it is fair to say that aphrodisiacs do indeed work, but it is imperative to ensure that there are no other possible hiccups once your beloved is beholden to your every whim. A chastity belt to which neither of you have the key would certainly be a hiccup, as would getting your hand stuck on her ass through said chastity belt when her husband, the King, returns. Quite funny to watch to be sure, in large due to Allen's purposefully horrific stand-up routine for the King and the hijinx he gets into with the Queen, all while referencing Hamlet. Feels as though it hits all the beats of Allen's work to come later, but never necessarily as witty or smart as it may seem to think this sequence is. However, in saying that, it is certainly quite funny to watch due to the hilarious situation at hand and, as a result, this first question is a great way to start off the proceedings.

Q: What Is Sodomy?
A: Gene Wilder gets into a torrid love affair with a sheep after a patient from Armenia asks for his assistance in getting Daisy the Sheep to start responding in the bedroom more. Yes, really. So, I guess it is best to answer this question by saying that sodomy is when a man gets really, really lonely in either the Armenian mountains or his loveless marriage, turns to a sheep for a refuge, and then gets sodomized by his wife in court as she takes all his money and loses his job. This is certainly a really, really weird section, but almost in a good way, especially when we see Wilder in bed with Daisy as she wears a garter belt. It is quite the image and one that speaks to just how damn odd this sequence is, but that is entirely the point and given that it is rather funny, this section does work. That said, it may be the epitome of a litmus test for whether or not somebody loves weird cinema.

Q: Why Do Some Women Have Trouble Reaching an Orgasm?
A: Allen's first attempt to really pucker up and kiss Federico Fellini's ass, this section stars him as an Italian man who cannot make his new wife orgasm. She is, allegedly, a virgin, in spite of her father giving Fabrizio (Allen) a map of all of her erogenous zones. As Allen discovers, the answer here is multi-fold. On one hand, perhaps it is the fault of the man or a lack of foreplay. Yet, if all else fails, clearly having sex in a department store must be the answer to solve these concerns. Funny and a nice send-up to Italian cinema, the sequence is probably the weakest to this point, but watching Allen and Louise Lasser getting busy under a dinner table is a truly great moment in cinematic history.

Q: Are Transvestites Homosexuals?
A: Honestly no idea. I guess the answer here is no since Sam (Lou Jacobi) still loves his wife, but this one is clearly one that Allen had no idea how to really approach. It is probably insensitive, but given that it is from 1972, it is hard for the film to not be offensive in some way on this front. The sequence is not particularly funny and lands quite flat, though watching Sam climb out the window in women's clothing is kind of funny, but in a very Some Like It Hot kind of way where it is only funny because it is a man in women's clothing. Given by disdain for that film, it is no surprise that this segment is tied for my least favorite in the film. Not particularly funny and it keeps repeating the same jokes, lacking any of Allen's trademark wit. It does not really work and, combined with the section after, makes the middle of this film really drag.
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8
40mangunshotApr 28, 2020
Weird and very funny. This was a fun surrealist sex comedy. Those often bizarre comedic skits, will make you have a fun good time.
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