Film Reviews: Divergent, 10 Rules for Sleeping Around, Nymphomaniac: Volume II
Dan Loughry


* * *

If we’re to believe the rash of young adult novels that have become popular over the last decade, America’s youth (young women, especially) should just give up now, because in the near future life will suck. Based on Veronica Roth’s trilogy Divergent and starring Shailene Woodley and the amazingly sexy Theo James—those lips!—this is basically The Hunger Games set in post-apocalyptic Chicago. Future dystopia, check. Warring factions, check. Brooding hotties and girls coming of age, check. That said, it’s a well-done adaptation, less engaging than The Hunger Games’ first installment but brisk popcorn entertainment. —D.L.

10 Rules for Sleeping Around

* *

This unsubtle sex comedy has all the makings of a great comedy—door-slamming, naked guys on the loose (or in bed together), a faux homo, men in drag, Jersey girls on drugs and two bestiality gags. But somehow 10 Rules for Sleeping Around is woefully unfunny. Writer/director Leslie Grief has his horny characters straining themselves, telling lies upon lies and never getting laid. The various and not very satisfying climaxes come at an exclusive party given by a famous and outrageous bisexual, Mr. Fields (Michael McKean). Alas, this forced farce is never as outrageous as it thinks it is. —Gary M. Kramer

Nymphomaniac: Volume II

* * *

Nymphomaniac: Volume II delivers more—much more—than the first volume, but somehow the overall effect is, sadly, less. Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg) has lost all sexual sensation, so she has a series of “dangerous” encounters, which include a tryst with two men and sessions with K (Jamie Bell), a sadist who flogs her. Joe also has motherhood issues, attends sex addicts anonymous sessions and takes a job as a “debt collector.” Meanwhile, Seligman (Stellan Skarsgaard) reveals some surprising things about himself. While there are sequences both sacred (a spontaneous orgasm that induces visions) and profane, Nymphomaniac Volume II addresses larger issues of shame, abuse and redemption but never completely satisfies. —G.K.


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