Naked ambitions unfulfilled

Now, don’t get The Bug wrong!

Any movie in which a woman boasts that her man just the previous night has managed to insert his nose fully into her anus has our undivided attention. Especially if it’s some sort of sex exercise with a “it’s your turn now” component to it.

The first words spoken (sort of; more about that soon) in the fillum are by Bruno (Damon Herriman) as he watches a flick in bed on his laptop: “His guts are popping out of his arse!” he exclaims.

It makes you immediately wonder what sort of film he’s watching and, indeed, where on earth this one is heading.

But that just about sums up Nude Tuesday, which is rude and crude from the get-go and never lets up.

Beside him wife Laura (Jackie van Beek) is working on a presentation for work. Seeing guts popping out of an arse has clearly turned Bruno on, so he siddles up to her and suggests maybe she could use his pork pen to finish her draft address. She declines the offer, citing a dreadful case of thrush. He takes things in hand, so to speak, much to her disgust.

This couple clearly need help, so it’s off to a new-age retreat where sex workshop guru Bjorg (Jemaine Clement, below) plans to rekindle their sex lives, not necessarily with each other.

The retreat seems to centre around group orgies at night – not that there’s anything wrong with that – and group sessions in the morning where everyone does post-climactic breathing exercises.
Group men sessions involve frantic hand waving to the sky and to their groins, shouting and huffing and puffing to honour their sex god penises. Peni?

All bizarre and kinky, right? So, why the medium Bug rating above? Surely a movie about sex should be right up The Bug’s alley?

The trouble with Nude Tuesday is that the film is total jibberish, meaning the entire dialogue is in jibberish, with sub-titles. Apparently you can change those subtitles, with some written by our very own Celia Pacquola and Ronny Chien, but we couldn’t work out how.

All of which means is that not only is the fillum crude and rude, it’s also very wacky and strange.

Once again, shouldn’t The Bug be applauding wacky and strange; fillum-making that’s way outside the square? That’s fresh and innovative. We could but the problem is Nude Tuesday lacks real depth. And warmth. An examination as to why this couple have drifted apart could have been something substantial, regardless of how they end up.

There’s an extended sequence after some wild mushroom taking where Bruno goes on a wild field trip that’s half-funny but doesn’t add much to any exploration of the central issue here: are Bruno and Laura going to kick on as a couple?

Some great comedy movies have explored human sexuality and what makes women and men beat themselves to a slightly different drum – The Man with Two Brains is perhaps the best – and with better scripting, Nude Tuesday might have explored that better.

Nude Tuesday is not quite as cold as the mountain lake the attendees at the retreat are supposed to happily jump into naked as part of their therapy.

The crazy jibberish idea, the handsome production values of this trans-Tasman effort and the raw acting talent displayed by the entire crew never quite make up for a storyline that could have better straighten out some basic fundamentals of human sexual intercourse, so to speak.

Don Gordon-Brown