SEX AND DEATH 101 (Daniel Waters). 116 minutes. Opens Friday (April 4). Rating: N
Sex And Death 101's odd premise is dribbled away in a wash of overlong scenes, witless gags, bland visuals and lethargic direction.
What if a man could know, with absolute certainty,every woman he'd ever sleep with? Nice guy Roderick Blank (Simon Baker) gets that knowledge, ditches his fiancée, embraces his fate,resists it,then finally succumbs to Death Nell (Winona Ryder),who's getting her revenge on men by screwing strangers and leaving them comatose.
It's meant to be funny and philosophical. Writer/director Daniel Waters (Heathers) trots out typical fantasies (the centrefold,the hot lesbian twosome) as well as more plausible women (the one who justwants to be friends).
Typical gag: a montage of a dozen people yelling,"Did you fuck her?" at our hero. Best gag: a guy escapes being murdered by dying accidentally, a ripoff of Luis Buñuel's The Criminal Life Of Archibaldo De La Cruz (1955). Worst gag: naming the fantasy lesbians after villains from the old Bond flick Diamonds Are Forever but not doing a Bond parody.
The philosophy comes down to things like "You can't cheat fate"and "Men think with their dicks," expressed with exactly that level of wit.