Monday, August 10, 2015

Literature Review #14: Sex Sells

Teenage sexploitation from our adolescent years....fine memories.  "Risky Business," "Porky's," and "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" are just a few examples of films that decades later are still fresh on our minds.  We may not bring it up in mixed company but what guy doesn't remember the awkwardness and allure of that scene with  Judge Reinhold and Phoebe Cates from the latter mentioned classic? Awkwardness and allure!  However juvenile those films were, they were aimed at the most awkward members of our society....teens. Pimply faced, voice cracking, easily embarrassed categorized many teens.  So let us examine a screenplay that, on the surface, fits in with these teen comedies...."Sex Sells" by Brandon M. Wyse.
To delve into the plot of "Sex Sells" risks betraying a deeper meaning which this work is.  Ben and Marvin are awkward virgins and high school class mates.  Ben is deep into porn and Marvin may forever live in a world of awkwardness, as he has Asperger's Syndrome.  The two have a bond which is explained later in the story.  Most of their interactions centers around sex.  Then a new student arrives, Mikalyn (I picture her as Phoebe Cates).  She is the most beautiful girl either of our boys has ever seen.  Running away from her own demons, Mikalyn starts hanging with Ben and Marvin.  Unable to deal with the sexiest being they've ever seen, Ben and Marvin keep their talk centered around sex.  They are in for a shock.....Mikalyn is a virgin.
Uh oh!  Marvin's mom squandered his college savings.  The three are devastated as college is in all their futures.  As Marvin and Ben look at Mikalyn as life boat survivors look at the survivor they are about to eat, she is surprisingly amenable to the obvious fix.  The three agree to auction off their virginity on-line.  Enough of the plot.  Interspersed with apparent teen sex comedy are some very real indications that something heavier and more meaningful is ready to take control. In Mr. Wyse's tale, virginity isn't looked at as a curse, but is described as a gift and something not to be cavalier about. However shallow our trio might seem in a plot description, their caring, sensitivity, and proclivity to choose good over evil is always bubbling to the surface.
However crude Ben, Marvin, and Mikalyn may appear at times, the fact that they have chosen each other as friends displays they are deeper than their peers' expectations.  With a crass plan cascading through the pages, will our trio allow their moral compasses to interfere?  Kudos to Mr. Wyse for his portrayal of Marvin.  Marvin,with his Asperger's Syndrome, emerges as a kind, intelligent, and heroic figure.  We were 16 many years ago, and sexual conquest was what we wanted to see in our teen comedies.  Now we're.....well....older, and we are in suspense as we plead for maturity and some semblance of morality to win out.  In that sense, perhaps "Sex Sells"  is a suspense drama disguised as a sex comedy.


  1. Replies
    1. Being right is the end all of complete understanding -- and you're right.

  2. Chris, I've read a couple of Brandon Wyse's screenplays but not this one. It sounds scrumptious. Brandon has an uncanny knack of reaching inside the words he writes and pulling out their hidden essence.
    His personal history has equipped him with tons of not-so-common knowledge that thankfully, the overwhelming majority of people do not possess. I'd suggest he's been indoctrinated into every story he pens. Brandon Wyse has earned his stripes with blood, tears, and bars, and this glows in his works in words.
    I truly hope this one as well as the others by Brandon that I've read make it to the big screen. I'd leap at the chance to pay to see them.
    Brandon Wyse is an amazing talent.
    Excellent review, Christopher!

    1. I don't deserve such kind words, my characters usually defiantly speak for themselves but you have spoken for them. Far better than I can -- you are an awesome analyst and writer yourself. So your words are backed by the gold in Fort Knox when gold existed there in the 1940's.