Sex After Kids (2013) – Review

Directed by Jeremy Lalonde
Written by Jeremy Lalonde
Starring Zoie Palmer, Shannon Beckner, Amanda Brugel, Kris Holden-Reid

It’s very easy to be bitter. It’s not as acceptable to shout and be funny about it, however. And this is exactly what Jeremy Lalonde is doing. Life is indeed a bitch or a bastard, and on this form, you have at least a fifty percent chance of giving birth to at least one of them. Lalonde writes and directs what seems to be something of a passion project (or lack thereof, if you’ll pardon the pun) that gathers a collection of parents, some couples some singles, and documents an ensemble of cliched references that most parents can recognise, even if they do not have the guts to say them out loud.
In his manifesto, Jerry Maguire mentioned ‘the things we think but do not say’ and Lalonde has an enviable talent for dredging the bottom of the barrel of honesty where the cream on top is perfect, focused parenting. Offering warts and all is refreshingly honest and clearly borne from real-life experiences, allegedly drawn not least by the cast themselves, mostly with kids of their own acting as realistically frightening inspiration.
The naysayers will no doubt strike a perfectly legitmate chord, suggesting that you make your own bed before you lie in it, so subsequently you shouldn’t really whine about it when your little bundle of joy pees all over your sheets. Arguing that passion and libido should not melt away like the wicked witch the minute a new life is brought into the world (and in some cases, quite some time before) therefore feels selfish and an argument we couldn’t (and shouldn’t) really win.
And this, if anything, is what may cause Sex After Kids any kind of negative attention. This is a dark comedy, dealing with some very familiar themes, that are rarely approached by film-makers and Lalonde should be applauded for approaching the subject with both honesty and levity. Like-minded people everywhere should see this and sagely nod their own heads in agreement, hopefully smiling at the irony. Those that aren’t smiling should maybe learn to laugh at themselves, because like it or not, Lalonde knows them better than they think and they should accept that he’s got their number too.
Reaching and surpassing the crowdfunded campaign on Indiegogo is a good thing for all of us, as Lalonde has been able to deliver an often inciteful script with tons of relish. Caustic and pointed at times, the words are, like the themes, sometimes brutally honest and on occasion, actually uncomfortable to hear. Most of the time, however, it’s just downright funny and well observed, but don’t think for a minute that the film is afraid to get its hands dirty, because that would both be underestimating its honesty and its reason for being.
Lalonde, in his second feature as Director, will have impressed the limited audiences that will have seen this so far and people should really take the time to seek it out on iTunes if they are of a certain disposition; that being realistic, smart and not afraid of the odd home truth. The script is littered with conversational and observational pearls which are delivered by a largely unknown cast that should all be applauded for their efforts on a significantly reduced budget. Personally, the stand-out performance was the simpering and slow yet horny single mother played by Zoie Palmer, who I actually loudly snorted at on more than occasion. Her delivery and timing were outstanding. Do not let this gushing positivity delude you into thinking that this is anything other than a micro-budget indie, and I do mean ‘micro’, but here, you get significantly more than what you pay for.
Great script, great cast and acceptable direction. Lalonde is a real talent and I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next. I just hope he manages to get a few bucks extra for the next one.

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