Paul Dawson, Lindsay Beamish, Adam Hardman, Sook-Yin Lee, Raphael Barker
John Cameron Mitchell
The cover of the Shortbus
DVD screams 'UNRATED,â?� as if John Cameron Mitchell's post'Hedwig and the Angry Inch
project had more in common with teen raunch romps like American Pie
or Waiting â?¦
than the frank, anti-Puritan art/sex films that inspired its no-holds-barred approach to explicit conduct. Sofia (Sook-Yin Lee) is a sex therapist who finally, humiliatingly admits she's never had an orgasm. A gay couple (PJ DeBoy and Paul Dawson) who've come to her for counseling introduce her to Shortbus, an experimental enclave where everything is permitted and hope springs eternal that enough fucking can save the world. While Mitchell does a good job of highlighting sex's gentle absurdity, the screenplay ' scripted by the actors after several workshops ' replaces squabbling with real dramatics and feels like an improv gone on too long. More hopeful and entertaining is the 30-minute featurette about the making of the movie. This half-hour window into Mitchell and his brave ensemble embarking on what must have been a once-in-a-lifetime experience epitomizes the quaint and guileless conviction Shortbus
strives for but never quite reaches ' that sex, in all its inherent grace, always heals more than it hurts.