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film review

Emily Hampshire in My Awkward Sexual Adventure.

Dishwater-dull accountant Jordan Abrams (Jonas Chernick) is boring his girlfriend Rachel (Sarah Manninen) into a coma in bed. When she dumps him, Jonah heads to the 24/7 sexy-time capital of Toronto to get some lessons in getting wild and sexy. There he meets Julia (Emily Hampshire) an almost-hooker with a heart of gold who works as a stripper. In exchange for Jordan's financial advice, she agrees to be his "sex Yoda," and before you know it Jordan's dressing in drag, engaging in bondage fun and performing cunnilingus on a cantaloupe.

With a plot that echoes Crazy Stupid Love, a technique that suggests a sitcom shot with surgery lighting, a protagonist whose biggest problem seems to be repressed homosexuality and a way with a dirty joke that makes you feel like Rachel does when Jordan's on top, Sean Garrity's My Awkward Sexual Adventure deserves credit primarily for the frank self-awareness of its title, minus the Adventure part. This movie's about as adventurous as a bus tour of Niagara wine country.

The abundant dirty talk might qualify as daring were it not for the fact that potty language in comedies is common to the point of ambient, and it doesn't help that it's being spoken by such processed-cheese clichés: Jordan has a Toronto buddy (Vik Sahay, looking unnervingly like Jian Ghomeshi) whose horny ways belie a soft romantic centre, a Jewish mother of surpassing shrillness and an encounter with a weirdo neighbour of Julia's who drops in like all weirdo neighbours in comedies do, except that he wears no pants. He is called Naked Tom.

As written by Chernick, My Awkward Sexual Adventure displays a fondness for a certain kind of set-up that's repeated so often it might inspire a drinking game: Jordan does something really embarrassing – like dressing up in drag or strapping on some bondage gear – only to be caught doing it by the last possible person in the world – like a cop, a rabbi, his mom or Rachel – he'd like to be caught by. And repeat.

With the sole exception of the deft performance of Emily Hampshire (last seen riding a limo with Robert Pattinson in Cosmopolis) as the debt-ridden and sweet-souled stripper, My Awkward Sexual Adventure is almost entirely devoid of reasons to keep watching, unless of course you're curious about the sex-ed applications of a cantaloupe.