Slut in a Good Way

Director: Sophie Lorain

Starring:  Marguerite BouchardRomane DenisRose Adam

Release Date: March 22, 2019

Since the beginning of time, we’ve seen female sexuality filtered through a man’s lens, especially in movies. The idea is that men can chase after as many girls as they want and be seen as a “player” or “ladies-man.” But if a girl does the same thing they’re shamed and ridiculed for it, like the old dumbass saying, “If a key can open multiple locks it’s a good key but if a lock can be opened by …” you know. The French-Canadian film, cleverly titled Slut in a Good Way aims to challenge this double standard. Que Nicole Kidman telling Tom Cruise “If you men only knew …”

This coming-of-age teen sex comedy follows a group of three high school girls, all with their own outlook on romance and sex. We’re put in the shoes of Charlotte (Marguerite Bouchard), who has just broken up with by her boyfriend of two years. Naturally, she’s devastated. (Sheryl Crow did say the first cut is the deepest.)

Director Sophie Lorain has no intention of depicting these girls as study-hard good-girl stereotypes as they’re closer to the characters of Superbad. The film opens with the three girls fooling around with dildos in a sex shop. After Charlotte has her heart broken, they console her by drinking, smoking and telling her to get laid.

After an evening of drinking tall boys at the park the three friends wonder into basically a Toys R Us (RIP) and notice there’s a surplus of hot male employees, or boy-toys. The girls fill out applications and are quickly hired as part-time employees during the holiday season. Charlotte decides to take her friends’ advice and is the quickest to have a little fun with her male co-workers.

While having her rebounds Charlotte is unaware that everyone is keeping track of her actions and silently judging her. It’s not until one of the guys gets jealous and tells her she’s going for the “perfect score,” a term they use for sleeping with everyone in the store.

Being a newer employee, Charlotte is unaware of the previous relationships between some of the people who have been there longer than she has. She unintentionally hooks up with some of the slap-dick losers who won’t fully commit to their girlfriends, causing tension in the workplace. The double standard is as blatant as ever.

The film asks us, Why is Charlotte to blame when she was unaware? It takes two to tango and the guys seem to go unscathed. One of the girls comically tells Charlotte that “if we were in Iraq you’d be stoned,” as if it’s somehow her fault that someone’s non-committed boyfriend slept with her.

We never see the girls go to school, talk about school, or be even remotely concerned about anything that is happening at school. They’re concerned with sex, or the lack thereof, as one of them is a virgin (there’s a lot of playful jokes at her expense) and doing their best to waste their employer’s time by taking breaks to get high or flirt with their charming male co-workers.

With a message as important as gender standards this small budget black and white film gets its point across in a refreshing way. It’s not overly dramatic but keeps us engaged with an important topic and has a message that hopefully all audience members can take something from. The characters are charming and seeing them grow throughout the story is moving. Slut in a Good Way is a film everyone should see, if you have the chance take your parents to see it or maybe send your less enlightened 10th grade kid to see it so we can never hear the damn lock and key analogy again.

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