Intimacy and romance are rarely, if ever, the same thing. Every couple with children has horror stories about the unromantic struggle to juggle an intimate sexual life with the time demands and new responsibilities of mommy and daddyhood. There’s not a lot of sexy that comes covered in baby spittle.
Welcome to the new independent Canadian film Sex After Kids.
Written and directed by Jeremy LaLonde and produced by LaLonde and Jennifer Liao (and successfully co-funded through an indigogo crowd-sourcing campaign), Sex After Kids takes an ensemble of loosely interconnected characters in various stages and states of marriage after having children. The empty-nesters who Google porn videos for fresh ideas with which to rejuvenate their sex life. The single, horny mom (Zoie Palmer) whose eager honesty and unfiltered mania scare away even the most willing sexual deviants. The single playa dad (Kris Holden-Ried) who cringes when a girlfriend calls him “daddy” during sex. The TV star (Amanda Brugel) who’s happily settled into Momdom (mostly) but whose husband (Peter Keleghan) no longer finds her attractive as he longs for the slim, sexy woman he married. The lesbian couple (Mary Krohnert and Kate Hewlett) trying to mesh different parenting styles and not talk about why it matters who actually gave birth to their child. And the young marrieds (Ennis Esmer and Shannon Beckner) who haven’t had sex in a year but only one of them misses it.
The broadly drawn character lines may hint of obvious strokes, but the raw honesty of their predicaments shine through every scene thanks to the engaging and fully game cast and a script that doesn’t shy from uncomfortably real moments. In the Q&As following the film’s several festival runs, LaLonde has said how every situation onscreen actually happened to one of the cast or crew and all the actors (most of whom have young children) were invited to collaborate with their own experiences trying to have sex after kids. That sense of the genuine permeates every frame.
Charming, honest, touching, poignant, and deeply funny, at its heart Sex After Kids is about being lonely, both in and out of marriage, not just for sex but for connection, friendship, and love, and the lengths people will go—from an inopportunely lost contact lens to hormonal odors that violently douse arousal to the mechanics of sex on a schedule to failing to succeed even with a sexually deviant hook up—to reclaim that happiness…and get laid.
Sex After Kids releases in movie theaters across Canada throughout February and in the United States this spring via video on demand.