By Vernon Nickerson
Have you ever had a fantasy about your most outrageous sexual adventure? Or, has eighteen months of COVID-19 drama robbed you of your ability to fantasize? Either way, you will want to see “They Them Us” by writer and director JON SHERMAN(HE/HIM). This film can give your dreaming brain and or your beating heart some idea of what you have been missing. Speaking of hearts and minds, if you are looking for a first-date-night dinner and movie experience, “They Them Us” will pair perfectly with a romantic dinner for two or more adults. If you are reading this review and still quarantining in a home with children, watch They Them Us in a secured location while the children are engaged with their favorite movie snack foods. Yes, this is a film for the enjoyment of adult couples only.
All that being said, Melissa Vogley Woods and her co-writer Jon Sherman*, weave an engaging and humorous tapestry of what it could be like to date while being single parents of school-age children. Actors Joey Slotnick and Amy Hargreaves as Charlie and Lisa lead a tight-knit cast through the post 40″s minefield of divorce and divorce recovery. Like many single and married adults, post-divorce wellness care demands rediscovering one’s self as a still-sexual human being in the big wide world beyond pandemic quarantines. Forty-eight years of becoming a passionate, romantic, and committed pacifist (and sexual violence survivor), the slave/master and bondage scenes, very non-violently and passionately portrayed, were a pleasant reminder that such roleplaying can be pleasurable.
The fact that Charlie works at a nominally Evangelical Christian private college and reports to his girlfriend Lisa’s “master” in leather bondage is a delicious irony. Once it is revealed, you wait with bated breath to see yet another sexually closeted exposed and engulfed in sexual scandal. To their credit, the writers don’t resolve the movie with a predictable “outing.” A clear pivot away from old sex addict exposed tropes masterfully expands the story arc for Charlie and Lisa. As quiet as it is kept, sexual pleasure is still to be had by adults over the age of 40 who are not broadcasting their every sexual thought or fantasy on social media.
Now, gentle reader, go and see “They Them Us” with someone you have been blessed to know and love. Enjoy every last moment of pleasure in 90 minutes of They Them Us!