Home Movie Reviews ‘How To Have Sex’ – Review
‘How To Have Sex’ – Review

‘How To Have Sex’ – Review


Cinema is a medium that challenges audiences and takes them for a ride, and that’s exactly what filmmaker Molly Manning Walker as she turns up the volume on a project that captures the anything-goes spirit of modern-day youth culture and it makes for an experience that is serious and thought-provoking in How To Have Sex.

Three British teenage girls go on a rites-of-passage holiday, drinking, clubbing and hooking up in what should be the best summer of their lives. As they dance their way across the sun-drenched streets of Malia, they find themselves navigating the complexities of sex, consent and self-discovery.

Filmmaker Molly Manning Walker might be making her directorial debut with How To Have Sex, but it’s very clear that she’s a filmmaker with an incredible level of talent and is a voice who will indeed dominate the cinema space in the next few years. Drawing on personal moments in her own life, along with the experiences of friends around her, the result is the hard-hitting How To Have Sex, and it’s a serious watch. Captured with an almost ‘in real-time’ style and pace, How To Have Sex tells the story of three friends who go on a ‘schoolies’ holiday in Greece and who are ready to go to extremes in the party atmosphere of Malia in Crete. But as the alcohol and drugs wear off, the consequences hit home, and it gets shocking quickly.

Walker’s exploration of contemporary British youth culture and its wild, excessive party moments follows in a long line of classic British films such as Quadrophenia, A Clockwork Orange and Trainspotting, and like those films, How To Have Sex is a confronting experience for audiences. The chief focus of this confrontation appears in the film’s focus on ideas of sex and consent and the emotional trajectory that comes with both subjects. While I won’t go into spoilers, the discussion of these topics, and particularly the notion of consent in relation to a new generation’s exploration of their sexuality, is told in a very raw and emotional way, and by the time the credits roll you’re certainly to be in tears at the trauma that is faced by the main character Tara (Mia McKenna-Bruce).

Much praise must be levelled on the performance of Mia McKenna-Bruce as the film’s central character of, Tara, or Taz, as he friends call her. A fun-loving teen who is looking to let loose, Taz seems like she’s a girl who’s in control and is ready to party up. But she’s quickly overwhelmed by the lawlessness of Malia, and when the unthinkable happens to her, she’s left reeling in a very poignant and dramatic way that is pure shock. McKenna-Bruce is a real talent, and watching her made me feel like I was witnessing a young Florence Pugh. I very much feel with her command of drama and commitment to capturing the truth of a performance that, she’ll rise to be a major player in the years to come.

How To Have Sex is a hard-hitting and incredibly raw cinematic presentation, but it’s an important narrative to be told, and its story is sure to resonate with many viewers. How To Have Sex is not a comfortable watch, but the subject matter it tackles is important, and audiences will feel that they’ve witnessed something after they’ve seen it, and this is a narrative that stays with you.

Image: Roadshow Films