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Photo Credit :: Shortbus
Arts & Entertainment
By Mark Thompson & Robert Doyle
October 4, 2006 
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Climb aboard Shortbus, and this is what you’ll get: full frontal and head on, dick and pussy, hard and soft. And threesomes going at it, with tears, moans, and sweat. And more than threesomes: whole rooms full of roving hands and mouths. You get sex talk and sex play – as well the national anthem. And a good amount of hot bodies – but equally important, there’s sweetness and sadness in this tale of a young gay male couple in New York learning how to find faith in their love.

Oh, and if that’s not enough, there’s also a sex therapist learning how to find her orgasm. And Justin Bond sings. And Murray Hill swings.

And most importantly, this is what you won’t get in Shortbus: homicide and genocide, war and destruction. Instead, this is a world of people learning how to love – rather than destroy. But neither is John Cameron Mitchell allowing us easy answers. Shortbus is not a unequivocal paean to endless sexual hedonism. Rather, Mitchell allows his characters to experience the sense of connectiveness which can happen through physicality. Sex, not as a cure-all, but sex as a conduit – and particularly to laughter. Knowing how and when to laugh at the two-headed, hump-backed monster in your bed.

Throughout the film, as the characters lives intertwine, there’s a lot of tenderness and sharing, thereby implicitly promulgating the notion of conversation as foreplay. And very nearly as much as the film celebrates sex, Shortbus celebrates the idea of New York as a playground, an island in the sea, untethered to intolerant societal restrictions. Happy endings are available in New York – and not only in bed.