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"THE SESSIONS"
(2012) (John Hawkes, Helen Hunt) (R)


Alcohol/Drugs Mild
Blood/Gross Stuff Minor
Disrespectful/Bad Attitude Moderate
Frightening/Tense Scenes Moderate
Gun/Weapons None
Imitative Behavior Moderate
Jump Scenes None
Music (Scary/Tense) None
Music (Inappropriate) None
Profanity Heavy
Sex/Nudity Extreme
Smoking Minor
Tense Family Scenes Heavy
Topics to Talk About Heavy
Violence Minor


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A nearly 40-year-old disabled man hires a married sex surrogate so that he can lose his virginity.
PLOT:
It's 1988 and Mark O'Brien (JOHN HAWKES) is a 38-year-old man who, due to contracting polio at a young age, only has control of his head, although he can feel all parts of his body, including his genitals. That and his unintentional orgasms when bathed and otherwise intimately cared for have left him both embarrassed and frustrated, something he discusses with his priest, Father Brendan (WILLIAM H. MACY).

After his last female attendant, Amanda (ANNIA MARKS), leaves when he expresses his love for her, Mark is more careful about falling for her replacement, Vera (MOON BLOODGOOD). She works with his longtime male attendant, Rod (W. EARL BROWN), in taking care of him, including much of his time spent in an iron lung to allow him a few hours out of that each day where he can breathe on his own. Even so, he has frank sexual discussions with Vera, all of which leads to him taking part in a survey of sexual activity among the disabled.

It's during that when he learns about sexual surrogates and decides that it's time he finally lose his virginity. After getting approval from Father Brendan to go for it, he hires Cheryl Cohen Greene (HELEN HUNT) for six sex sessions. Married to Josh (ADAM ARKIN) and mother to their teenage son, Cheryl is kind to Mark and his predicament, but she's also determined to fulfill his request.

Facing both fear and excitement, Mark follows Cheryl's lead, although they must contend with various developments and minor setbacks regarding his quest to lose his virginity.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
The sexuality aspect might be a lure to some, but older teenagers otherwise seem the likeliest potential audience of kids for this film.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For strong sexuality including graphic nudity and frank dialogue.


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