Friday, August 15, 2008

Three is the Loneliest Number

This is Adam from Club Silencio and it's my first time guest blogging at The Film Experience! (Golf claps.) I'll be keeping things nice and clean for Nathaniel. So let's get right into it...

Threesomes. We all love them. Filmmakers rarely get to treat them with much intricacy, beyond the simple charms of smut and titillation of course (Wild Things, Where the Truth Lies). According to the movies, the complications of jealousy and intimacy always manage to mess things up for these happy trios. Maybe it's the question of who has to be the odd one out on a rollercoaster, and maybe it's from deciding who has to sleep in the middle.

Some SPOILERS below...

Woody Allen's latest seduction, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, charts a steamy mingling of artistic minds. The initial meld of suave Juan Antonio, questioning Cristina and feisty Maria Elena, brings with it a feeling of immaculate inspiration. The broken bond between Juan Antonio and Maria Elena seems temporarily salvaged, while Cristina's talents for photography are finally flourishing. Yet soon enough they too hit a wall. Is it just inevitable, or do cinematic threesomes ever work out?

Cabaret (1972)
Sally Bowles gets her hands on a wealthy man, so why not let her beloved gay roommate in on the action? Sally and Brian have a mutual sugar daddy that allows them to travel and partake of life's finest pleasures. Maybe I just don't get this movie, but what's the problem here? Eventually Sally can't stay tied down, Brian can't stay tied to Sally, and the rich guy's got the money to buy a more balanced pair.

Y tu mamá también (2001)
When Julio and Tenoch lure Luisa on their summer excursion, their main goal is to seduce Luisa into the sack. Luisa beats them to the punch and tempts them both into bed, finally getting the boys drunk enough the realize their deeper feelings for each other. As far as Gael Garcia Bernal being involved it's a success. As for the rest... Luisa's sexual excursions turn out to be her last, while Julio and Tenoch take parting glances and parting paths.

The Dreamers (2003)
This was a bad idea from the start, and not just because Michael Pitt drives me insane. Matthew finds an immediate attraction to Isabelle, whose affections lie a little bit closer to home. Yes, Theo and Isabelle are brother and sister, but that just means they're "comfortable with each other," right? Matthew tries to lure Isabelle away from her intense incestuous devotion, but mutual passions for politics and film ultimately bring the trio together. Soon the world outside catches wind, including the kids befuddled folks, leaving Isabelle to ponder putting them all out of their misery.

Let's hope it was fun while it lasted... So what would be your ideal movie threesome and could they have that rare chance at long-lasting romance? Oh, and feel free to bring up this article the next time your partner asks for that something special on their birthday.

12 comments:

par3182 said...

brian's not sally's "beloved gay roommate" (you make it sound like a terrible sitcom), he's her boyfriend - hence the drama

but thanks for posting that screencap - i love that scene when the record ends and there's so much going on in their eyes

Adam said...

You're completely right. It has a lame 'Three's Company' echo to it, doesn't it? All the more reason I'll stand by it.

Glenn said...

Oh you know James Dean, Natalie Wood and Sal Mineo had extra curricular fun together in Rebel Without a Cause.

dean said...

i think this post needs a major spoiler alert.

Emma said...

Casino probably wouldn't count, eh? ;)

Colin said...

Glenn, if we're talking threesome subtext, what about Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O'Connor in Singin' in the Rain?

Glenn said...

It's great to stay up late, good morning, good morning to you! and YOU!

teehee, so true.

Colin said...

A-ha, I recall one cinematic threesome that worked out, though not without promises of bumps along the way: Paul Dawson, PJ DeBoy and Jay Brennan in Shortbus (2006).

Adam said...

Good call Colin. I thought of 'Shortbus' also, but much too late... John Cameron Mitchell's doing his part! Also, for the hopeful,'Wild Side' by Sebastien Lifshitz charts a hopeful threesome that ends quite pleasantly for all.

Anonymous said...

I love the movie Threesome, though the relationships don't especially work out there either! From the title on it promises to go somewhere, and although it does, it surprisingly doesn't get there purely to titilate. I think as a study of the emotional repercussions of 'going there' that movie does a pretty fine job.

It's like a Seth Rogen movie with feeling.

Rob

Duncan said...

The Dreamers is beautiful. Bertolucci is a god, and Eva Green is a goddess.

Anonymous said...

This looks like the only place here to talk about "Vicky Cristina Barcelona." Needless to say, I adored it, and I'd love to see Penelope Cruz nominated for best supporting actress. The chemistry with the cast was smoking too. Woody's still got a bit of fire left in him even at this stage of his career. I can't wait to see what he comes up with next, especially if it's high quality like this film.