Four years ago, audiences were being subjected to the watered down, chemistry-less film offering that was Fifty Shades of Grey. At the time, BYT’s esteemed film editor Alan also put out a list of films that were sexier to him than that Twilight fan fic film. With the third installment of the Fifty Shades franchise out in theaters this week, we thought it was a good time to put out another list of sexy films–this time from a lady’s point of view. These films may not all be highly esteemed, but they all have a vibe or a moment that is a major sexy mood setter. If you want serious, quality cinema, check out this list of best queer female films or Alan’s list, but if you want to get hot, bothered, and in some cases sexually nostalgic, follow my lead (in no particular order).
Y Tu Mama También
The casting of this film alone is dead sexy. This was many American’s first taste of Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal, and now I can’t get enough of these beautiful men on screen. Yes, this film about two teenage boys on a road trip in Mexico with a mysterious older woman does have that steamy threesome, but that’s not the only sexy selling point. These two young men mature through their interactions with this woman and their desire to impress her. What’s sexier than men wanting to improve themselves and grow up because they’re inspired by a woman? It certainly subverts several stereotypes. It’s not just that they want to bone her, which they do, but a lot of this movie is about conversation and intellectual parrying. The young men learn to have brain measuring contests more than the dick measuring contests at the beginning of the film.
Love & Basketball
Maybe I find coming of age films sexy because the characters are discovering what they themselves deem sexy over what society tells them to. Gina Prince-Bythewood, who wrote and directed this film (and another very sexy film Beyond the Lights) is so good at creating characters and building moments that have a real charge. I find this film about basketball loving pals Monica (Sanaa Lathan) and Quincy (Omar Epps) so appealing because audiences get to see their relationship evolve over many years. You see the chemistry between the characters and it feels so genuine. One of the sexiest scenes in cinema for me is when Monica and Quincy are grown up and play one-on-one against each other. Quincy is set to marry Kyra (played by the stunning Tyra Banks), but Monica finally feels ready to be with him, so despite the highly inconvenient timing, she wakes him at night to confess her feelings. When he brushes her off, she tells him she wants to play basketball for his heart. Every aspect of this scene is perfectly pitched for maximum sexiness. Who knew sports could be so intensely sexy? Except for Seabiscuit, obviously. Monica’s in her sports bra and Epps’ Quincy is in all his muscled glory while Me’Shell Ndegeocello’s “Fool of Me” plays. It’s sweaty and well… I’ll let the scene speak for itself.
This is me getting full nostalgic, but this movie was so formative for me as a teenager. It was THE movie that you put on when you wanted things to turn from a friendly hang into a make out sesh. The combo of that fascinating, saliva filled, totally unnecessary kiss between Sarah Michelle Gellar and Selma Blair and the scene in the weird, opulent basement pool between Ryan Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon just compounded sexy things done by sexy people. I mean the scenes between Ryan and Reese were so charged that they started dating after doing this movie, got married, and procreated… twice!
This is certainly my artsy pick, and a lot of the sexiness is psychological (I mean it is a David Lynch film), but that doesn’t take away from how it’s a viscerally sexy film. There’s a level of dominance between Rita and Betty that’s really appealing. The sexiness does take a turn for a weird when raven-haired Rita dons a blonde wig in a seductive move that makes one think it could all be a twisted fantasy in Betty’s head, but mental masturbation isn’t any less sexy. You, literally, do you, Betty.
Adapted from a French film La Femme Infidele this movie was a real revelation. It’s not just a story of an affair, but a rallying cry for the sexuality of women past the age of 35. Diane Lane, who plays the lead Connie, a middle aged mom who has an illicit affair with a sexy artist, made her comeback in this film and proved you don’t have to put an age on sex appeal. She was in her late 30s, which is far from old, and her husband was played by Richard Gere, who’s 15 years her senior. His timeless sex appeal is never questioned but her’s felt like this “discovery” Hollywood made. It was a victory that a woman not yet 40 could be a sex symbol. Aside from Hollywood hypocrisy, she was truly sexy in a film where sex felt like a great release, an escape and borderline dangerous. I’d say that’s quite a explosive combo.
Speaking of borderline dangerous… Calvin tighty-whitey era Mark Wahlberg plays the bad boy David, who goes from scary sexy to just plain scary to the yet-again adorable Reese Witherspoon in a speedy hour and a half. I’ve never really found Wahlberg my type, though he is in great shape in this movie, but there’s just this irresistible draw to his character. It’s a bit of an annoying cautionary tale against a young woman’s sexuality, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t steamy moments. Just say “roller coaster” to any woman of a certain generation and their eyes will light up.
This movie is more than just sexy, it’s a whole lot of fun, but that iconic threesome between Matt Dillon’s older guidance counselor character Sam Lombardo (I mean that’s just a sexy character name) and students wrong-side-of-the-tracks Suzie (Neve Campbell) and rich girl Kelly Van Ryan (Denise Richards) is worthy of its lasting impression. It’s Matt Dillon at his grizzled, sexy peak. The swampy Florida locale of this film and the moody lighting really help give the movie, and particularly this scene, a very sexy feel. You don’t see much skin in the scene, but the clever shots (the underpants falling to the ground) do enough to set the mood.
This is another example of attractive cast will provide the heat. Between Natalie Portman’s Alice doing a private room dance for Clive Owen’s slightly smarmy Larry or Julia Roberts’ Anna drooling over Jude Law’s Dan through her camera lens, this movie is so tense and filled with sex appeal. Director Mike Nicols is excellent at creating a sense of emotional tension. The whole movie is one huge, wonderful, painful, emotional strip tease. There’s no one sex scene that makes this a sexy movie, it’s the dance these characters do with each other that makes it sexy. There’s sometimes a very fine like between lust and loathing.
Diablo Cody’s humorous horror sophomore effort is so highly underrated. Like Fear, it provides its own cautionary tale about female sexuality. Sex-on-a-stick cheerleader Jennifer (Megan Fox) turns into a succubus who feeds on teen boys and her meek friend Needy (Amanda Seyfried) must take her down. Unlike Fear, which ends with a sort of punishment of Reese’s character, Jennifer’s Body empowers Needy, allowing her to avenge her friend. Yes, there’s a girl-on-girl kiss, but that wasn’t what makes this film sexy, it actually ended up distracting viewers from seeing how clever this film really is. Jennifer’s character self possession and the destruction of men makes her even more beautiful, literally. She’s also funny as hell, which is damn sexy too.
Call Me By Your Name
Yeah, yeah, yeah there’s that peach. For me, though, this movie is sexy because it’s full of denial, longing, and then finally fulfillment. I talk about my adoration of this film at length in my review, but can’t say enough about how much the film loves it’s characters in the delicate, intimate way the film is shot. Audience members fall in love with Elio and Oliver the same way the men fall in love with each other. Also there’s very little that’s not sexy about swanning around in the heat of an Italian summer in the prime of your life. Who doesn’t wish they had their sexual awakening in an Italian villa?