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USA, 1998 (MIFF 1998, International Panorama)

Director: P.J. Castellaneta

The highly versatile Jennifer Tilly plays Tara Ricotto, den mother and confidant to a group of gay, lesbian and straight friends in this outrageous Sundance favourite. Very much a quintessential 90s romantic comedy, Relax... It's Just Sex is alive with vibrant, hilarious dialogue exchanges, timely issues and gender conflict.

Tara comforts struggling gay playwright Vincey over the lack of romance in his life. Vincey has designs on hunky artist T.C. T.C. is oblivious to Vincey's affection and, after making inflammatory dinner table remarks about his AIDS conspiracy theories, takes up with the HIV+ Javi, brother of Tara's lover, Gus. Javi and Vincey envy the stability of the relationship of born-again christian gay couple Dwight and Diego. But couples aren't always so stable, as longterm lesbian partners Megan and Sarina find out when Megan sneaks off with Sarina's cousin Jared. Confused? So is Tara, and she wishes her friends would just work things out amicably instead ol unburdening themselves over coffee and gossip.

When Vincey turns the tables on a gang of gay bashing drunks and exacts a terrible revenge, the group is forced to pause and take stock. Following his highly acclaimed Together Alone, P.J. Castellaneta's second feature again triumphs with a naturalistic script and acute observations of thirty-something urban life.

"Gender and sexual orientation have become such dividing lines in society that it's rare to see a comedy that blends together so effortlessly the lifestyles of gays and heteros." - Variety

P.J. Castellaneta began his feature film career by writing, directing, producing and editing Together Alone, which was awarded at the Berlin Film Festival. The film was in tremendous demand on the international festival circuit, including many gay and lesbian film festivals.

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