HOW TO PLEASE A WOMAN (2021)
Starring Sally Phillips, Caroline Brazier, Erik Thomson, Alexander England, Tasma Walton, Hayley McElhinney, Ryan Johnson, Asher Yasbincek, Nina Young, Cameron Daddo, Roz Hammond, Myles Pollard, Emily Rose Brennan, Josh Thomson, Dan Paris, Liam Graham, Ben Mortley, Catherine Moore, Emma Jackson, Kaitlin Okely, Alexandra Nell and Suesha Rana.
Screenplay by Renée Webster.
Directed by Renée Webster.
Distributed by Brainstorm Media. 107 minutes. Not Rated.
Coming out about a month after Good Luck To You, Leo Grande, it would appear that there is a little trend of films about middle class women of a certain age finally finding happiness in life due to interactions with male sex workers. Actually, How To Please a Woman has more in common with the surprise 1990s hit film The Full Monty than it does with Leo Grande, but it shares a lighthearted sweetness and a surprising depth with both films.
Which is not to say that this sweet Australian comedy can’t stand on its own feet. It most certainly does. It’s charming and funny and surprisingly perceptive and empathetic.
How to Please a Woman is the story of Gina (the always welcome Sally Phillips) who is stuck in a dead-end job and in a sterile, passionless marriage. The only real joy she seems to find in life is in a local swim club at the nearby beach.
One day, her friends from the beach send her a stripper named Tom (Alexander England) as a birthday gift to cheer her up. The guy tells her that he is hers for two hours and he will do whatever she asks of him. However, Gina is not interested in fooling around, she still is being faithful to her husband even though they haven’t had sex in almost two years. Honestly, she was more interested in having her house cleaned. He agrees, but she does take advantage of the situation by having him clean with his shirt off.
When she is soon afterwards fired from her job in a case of obvious ageism, she has the idea that maybe this could be a business – hiring sexy guys to clean women’s homes with their shirts off. She tries it out with some of her friends – and the stripper they had hired for her – and it becomes quite popular. She takes over the moving company that the stripper worked for – which was being put out of business by the same company which fired her (which honestly, is a bit too much of a coincidence).
The problem is most of the other women were not satisfied with simply cleaning. So quickly the business prospectus changes – the guys will both clean for women and sleep with them if that is their wish. Tom and his co-workers Steve (Erik Thomson), Anthony (Ryan Johnson) and Benjamin (Josh Thomson) become the team, with Tom and Anthony handling the sex, Benjamin just doing cleaning and former owner Steve handling IT for the company. (Although, in one funny scene, schlubby Benjamin is the only one there for an emergency booking and agrees to take one for the team in a very funny sequence.)
The business has growing pains – Tom is good at sex but bad at cleaning, and Anthony has the exact opposite problem. However, Gina and her friends talk to them and teach them to be more responsive to a woman’s needs (both in sex and in cleaning). In the meantime, being in charge, Gina starts to gain confidence and starts to find herself wanting a more complete sexual life – and thinking that maybe it could happen with Steve.
In some parts How to Please a Woman is a little silly, and occasionally slightly sitcomish, but mostly it’s just a fun romp.
Jay S. Jacobs
Copyright ©2022 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: July 23, 2022.