Movie Review: How To Have Sex


The movie How To Have Sex sneaks up on you, with great performances and an authentic storyline that is sadly very familiar for way too many people.

How To Have Sex

Set in Malia in the Greek island of Crete, three British teenage girls go on a rites-of-passage holiday as they wait for their end of school results. In a few days time their futures will be determined, but in the meantime the name of the game is, oblivion.

Having booked into a hotel, Tara (Mia McKenna-Bruce), Skye (Laura Peake) and Em (Enva Lewis) set about gathering the essentials, smokes, alcohol and cheesy chips.

The hotel is full of likeminded guests, think Rottnest during Schoolies but on steroids. Before heading off for a night of clubbing and drinking Tara, the liveliest for the trio, hangs out on their balcony. While there she looks over to the neighbouring balcony and meets Badger (Shaun Thomas), who invites the girls to party with him and his mate Paddy (Samuel Bottomley).

After a series of hedonistic nights, Badger and Tara become tight and Em hooks up with one of Badger’s female friends. That leaves Skye, the most intent on getting laid, to become jealous. In front of the group she teases Tara about being a virgin and suggests she hook up with Paddy, leaving her clear to pursue Badger. When Tara sees Badger volunteer to go on stage for a sex act game she leaves with Paddy.

How To Have Sex, the movie is a fly-on-the-wall, sliding doors, hedonistic ride that explores the complexities of sex, consent and self-discovery. 

As I watched the trio consume copious amounts of alcohol I pondered:

  1. McKenna- Bruce is absolutely brilliant, taking Tara from a loudmouthed annoying teen to a character that holds your heart. I can see why she won Best Lead Performance at the British Independent Film Awards 2023;
  2. So too Shaun Thomas who as Badger reminds us not to judge a book by its cover. A well-deserved supporting performance winner;
  3. Director Manning Walker’s does a great job in her first movie, presenting relatable characters, stunning imagery and an all too realistic exploration on consent;
  4. The movie is all the more impactful because of its relatability to so many people;
  5. It is also a reminder that relationships involving three women are often tricky and that saying “only joking” doesn’t take away the hurt;
  6. Some of the people around me thought the movie would benefit from subtitles, and a couple left before the movie moved past all the shallow partying scenes, which was a shame;
  7. When does alcoholic poisoning kick in?

For more information go to Luna Cinema. In cinemas March 7.

7.0 Awesome
  • overall 7
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