The centerpiece sequence was a twenty-five minute sexual negotiation held on a fifteen-year-old girl’s bed. Shot in a grueling, unsettling and occasionally hilarious long take, it exemplifies why director Catherine Breillat described the film as a “psychological sitcom.” . . . It is a bracing and bitterly funny portrait of life on a film set, with all of its insecurities and shifting alliances, as well as a sharp-edged bit of artistic self-analysis.
For most contemporary filmmakers, sex is merely signified through the most banally pneumatic conventions. It’s as if directors and viewers were fulfilling a tacit agreement—don’t ask, don’t tell. Breillat’s films prove that without intimacy a story is a hollow shell, a diversion, a sham. “Sex Is Comedy” reveals the high price of that intimacy for the director, for the viewer, and, especially, for the actors. Which leads to another question: Is it all worth it?