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Shortbus is a 2006 film made by John Cameron Mitchell, the guy behind Hedwig and The Angry Inch. It is known primarily for its scenes of unsimulated sex.
Set in New York City, the movie follows two occasionally intersecting narratives. The first revolves around Sofia, a sex therapist who has never achieved orgasm in her life, and the strain it puts on her relationship. After attending the Studio 54-esque club Shortbus, Sofia befriends professional dominatrix Severin, who tries to help her finally find orgasm.
The second revolves around James, an amateur filmmaker and former hustler who is morose and introverted. He and his boyfriend, Jamie, begin an open relationship with a third man, while a fourth, named Caleb, stalks James from his apartment one block over. The film James has been working on turns out to have an unpleasant surprise...
This work contains the following examples:
- A Date with Rosie Palms
- Big Blackout
- Bigger Is Better in Bed: Not actually discussed, but there can't be a single penis seen in the film less than seven inches long. (6 1/2 minimum)
- Brains and Bondage: Severin
- Cameo: Many, mostly of New York artists, musicians, and writers, and John Cameron Mitchell himself.
- Embarrassing First Name: Severin's real name is Jennifer Aniston.
- Epiphany Therapy
- Everyone Is Bi: Except for the characters who are gay.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: CBC Radio listeners will recognize journalist Sook-Yin Lee as Sofia. Definitely Not the Opera, indeed. Started a minor media storm in Canada when the CBC tried (and failed) to fire her for filming the non-simulated sex scenes in the film.
- Interrupted Suicide
- Love Dodecahedron
- Meaningful Name: Severin, taken from the protagist of Venus in Furs. Also a subversion, as Severin is the submissive part in Venus in Furs.
- My Girl Is a Slut
- Naked on Arrival: The opening scene are different sex scenes intercut with each other, including James attempting autofellatio.
- Nobody Over 50 Is Gay: Averted with Tobias, who most certainly does not resemble Ed Koch.
- Rescue Romance
- Shout-Out: A vibrating egg has the phrase In the Realm of the Senses written on it. And yes, it is inserted into one of the main characters' vagina.
- Stalking Is Love
- Turn of the Millennium: Referencing many current events and trends of the early 00s, including The War on Terror, 9/11, and the New York City blackout.
- The Twink: Ceth, to some extent.
- Transvestite: Justin Bond.