Oh god, where do I begin with this film? I really want to punch something every time I think of it. And I like cheesy romances, as long there's just some irony in there somewhere, but this travesty is dead serious. It's at its core a tragic romance (or you know, a pathetic excuse for one), then it gets all political on your ass, and then becomes the worst porn ever. I watched it pretty early on, I think pretty much when it came out, as I recall I was waiting for it, because I had a major hard on for Hugh Dancy at the time....still do. And there were going to be sex scenes, him without a shirt on, I was duly excited, and then its like someone took your favorite dish and shat on it, and served it to you. That's the only experience I can compare watching this film to.
First of all, Jessica Alba shouldn't be allowed to speak. She should just stand there. She plays the lovely (barf) Selima who is a sleeping dictionary. For those playing the home game a sleeping dictionary is a hot native woman who has a lot of sex with the uptight British missionary and during sex teaches him the native language. Because, that's when men's minds are truly focused on learning...in mid-orgasm.
At first he doesn't agree to this arrangement, you know, because of Jesus...but eventually they end up doing it, and doing it, and doing it, if by nothing but natural light. And what is the one thing you're not supposed to do with a hooker? no not that...pervert. You're not supposed to fall in love with her. And what does Hugh Dancy do? That's right, he falls in love with her! Shocker! He's a British officer, he can't be falling in love with hot native chicks, how frivolous! So then they hide their forbidden love and the sex is supposed to be hotter for that reason? But it turns out to be the world's most awkward sex imaginable. It's like cousins having sex up there. It was a cover your eyes experience for sure. And there is no worse feeling when you're expecting to be turned on but end up being embarrassed. And there's also a scene where Emily Mortimer takes her top off, and quite honestly I would have rather seen Bob Hoskins take his top off. Bottom line is, it tries to be provocative, including a 'raunchy' scene where Jessica Alba pushes Hugh Dancy's head down and out of frame slowly as if to imply that she wants oral sex and is about to teach him how, but it just ends up being completely lame. For sex between two good looking people, it was actually and ironically repulsive.
|subtext: time to go south of the border uptight British virgin.|
So lesson to be learned...if you like Hugh Dancy, for the love of god avoid this movie because it's going to make you loath him with vengeance and want to beat Jessica Alba with impunity. I'm not a violent person, but I really wanted to smack her head into a wall after watching this film. She lives in the jungle but she's dressed like a model from the Diesel catalogue. Even a supporting cast of Brenda Blethyn, Noah Taylor, and Emily Mortimer couldn't save this turd of a film. Don't expect to be turned on by anything going on. If anything, it's going to make you consider a vow of celibacy.
I will leave you with a clip from the film in which John Truscott (Dancy) finally gives in to his urges and allows Alba to seduce him. Try to control your gag reflex, you have been warned.