Hulu’s Sex Appeal tries to be a mix of Netflix’s Sex Education and, all the 90s rom-com we are familiar with. Directed by Talia Osteen and written by Tate Hanyok, the Hulu original stars Mika Abdalla as the protagonist Avery Hansen-White along with Paris Jackson, Fortune Feimster, Paisley Herrera, Margaret Cho, Jake Short and others. The film has a runtime of 1 hour 30 minutes.
– Hulu’s Sex Appeal review does not contain spoilers –
Sex Appeal: Gives a Sex Positive Message But Does Not Stand Out
Sex Appeal revolves around the life of high school perfectionist Avery Hansen-White (Mika Abdulla’s character), an airtight A grade student whose high school nerd prom event is the upcoming STEM conference. STEMCON is a dedicated competition for students to prove their excellence in the field of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics by completing a challenge provided 30 days before the event.
This year the competition demands you to make an app based on your life’s personal problem. Avery, who lives a seemingly perfect life is bewildered by the topic and, it is not until her long-distance boyfriend suggests that they have sex during the upcoming STEM conference, is Avery taken aback by the fact that her (and, a lot of people’s) primary issue in life is to have the perfect sexual experience with their partners.
Driven by her personal and academic needs, Avery enlists the help of her childhood friend, Larson (played by Jake Short), to discover all the elemental needs that build-up to the most wholesome sexual experience. But, if the plot goes according to plan or if there are some feelings that rise above sex to derail it is for the audience’s delight to find out!
Sex Appeal draws inspiration and tries to mimic Netflix’s iconic Sex Education to stand on its own feet. Avery is similar to Otis in her quest to understand sex, foreplay, orgasms and everything associated with it. However, as sweet as our beloved Otis is, Avery is insufferable for the most part of the film. Her using Larson to “obtain data for her app” (even though with consent) is unkind, callous and, a very entitled move. For a character to realize if he/she cares for a person or not, they necessarily don’t need to go through an arc of hurting the other person.
Even though the film is sex-positive in imparting sexual knowledge with dialogues like learning sex from porn is similar to learning driving from Fast and Furious films, it still is regressive in the treatment of the people from the LGBTQ+ community. Avery, who has grown up with three lesbian mothers is toneless about the community’s sexual urges and ways and, disrespects it by comparing it to the heterosexual stereotype of sex.
However, the most interesting part and, a fair part of the film is the ending that does not stink or entitle our protagonist. But, serves as a true lesson of ‘you sow what you reap’.
Sex Appeal: Final Verdict
Sex Appeal is a quick, one time watch to understand the dimensions of sex and, how love is always the key ingredient of all. Mika Abdulla and Jake Short are really good in their roles, along with some nerdy math class craking equational sex jokes. Yet, it is a film one can do without in terms of being a sex comedy.
You can watch the Hulu original Sex Appeal now streaming on Hulu.Instagram & Facebook to keep yourself updated with the latest news and reviews.