In a similar vein to Y Tu Mama Tambien, Sex, Party and Lies can be confidently filed in the sub-genre of grittiness known as Sexy-Grit. Unfortunately, it has none of the warmth or charm of the aforementioned slice of Mexican film-making. This is basically lots of sweaty, Spanish youngsters taking drugs and having sex with each other, while at parties, where they tell lies.
And that's basically that. Never has a title better summarised a film, with virtually every scene containing some permutation of sex, partying or lying. You hardly need to watch the film really. If they'd called it Sex, Party, Lies, Sweating and Irresponsible Drug Taking you actually would not have to watch the film at all. This is a vacuous little tale of hedonistic fun in the sun, but surely there's more to life and cinema than this?
There are some decent performances mixed in with all that sex and sweat. Mario Casas is excellent as the lovelorn Tony and Anna de Armas is both stunning and talented as the deceitful friend Carola. My favourite is the much maligned (in the film anyway) Miriam Giovanelli, who adds the 'comedy' value to the film with a host of quips and references to her being fat. A) It's not funny, B) She's not fat at all, and C) If she is fat then that makes around 95% of everyone in South Yorkshire super fat. Surely all three of them could do so much better with a film that has a story.
On the upside, Sex, Party and Lies begins to define the checklist for the Sexy-Grit genre. No Sexy-Grit film can be complete without dirty, sweaty characters, someone having sex in a seedy toilet cubicle, someone having sex in a seedy alley, lots of drug action, and someone having an overdose. No-one gets shot, there are no children with guns and surprisingly, no prostitutes. Gomorrah fans will surely see this as grit-lite. If the film was a spreadable fat, it would definitely not be Lurpak, it would probably be more like New Balance Light Original Buttery Spread with Flax (look it up spreadable fat fans!)
Yes it's essentially rubbish, but it's gritty rubbish, and sometimes that's a good thing. In this case it isn't. Sex. Party and Lies is an annoying Spanish version of 'Skins' with no soul or originality. The Sexy-Grit genre deserves better.
(NB this film has obviously percolated in the mind of Doccortex and, as sometimes happens, his view is now a tad more positive. Positive enough to place the film at number 10 in his Top Ten Films of 2012 - evlkieth)
If you like this you could also try:
Y Tu Mama Tambien, 3some.