LA TIMES-Katie Walsh -Nov 25th
Amber Stonebraker and Al'Jaleel McGhee in the movie "Sex Weather." (Breaking Glass Pictures)
You know the sex weekend movie — a couple rolls around in bed for 12-48 hours, going through all the ups, downs and emotional turmoil of a long-term relationship — think Andrew Haigh’s “Weekend” or Alia Shawkat and Miguel Arteta’s “Duck Butter.” There’s a crucial element to nailing this deceptively difficult genre, and that is casting. For his moody indie “Sex Weather,” writer-director Jon Garcia has a pair of aces in the form of Al’Jaleel McGhee and Amber Stonebraker, who star as Darrel and Sydney, former collaborators who connect for a brief, heady tryst.
It’s a tough job for McGhee and Stonebraker, who spend the entire movie clad in little more than rumpled sheets, processing an entire spectrum of emotions, from post-one-night-stand disdain to declarations of love, all while playing by a set of arbitrary rules such as “the floor is lava” and “no pants allowed.”
The script has a certain memoiristic quality that would edge into self-indulgence if McGhee and Stonebraker weren’t such warm and disarming presences on screen. They sell the material wholeheartedly and manage to make a one-setting, two-actor film emotionally compelling. There’s a soft dimness to the visuals, set in Sydney’s basement apartment in Portland, Ore. While environmentally accurate, it’s not exactly aesthetically riveting, so it’s a good thing the actors bring the heat, sharing a vivid chemistry and willingness to bare the souls (and bums) of their characters.
The sixth feature film from director Jon Garcia, Sex Weather. The morning after the premiere of his new film, sleepy-eyed Darrel (Al’Jaleel McGhee) wakes to find himself in bed with his friend and crew member Syndey (Amber Stonebraker). As they discuss the previous evening and the film’s tepid reviews, emotions give rise to reflection on the passionate and thoughtful relationship that they could have shared if either had taken the chance. Filmed almost entirely in a small studio bedroom, the actors give stand-out performances of tumultuous regret and hopeful futures—while trying not to step on a fake lava floor.
WBOC - November 13, 2018
"Like Weekend, Garcia is honest about how human beings would be or should be in post-coitus situations, and maybe that’s all this film needs to be. It’s a slightly raw morning after that can be awkward in one moment and quite arousing in the next. It doesn’t have to aim any higher than being a sexy interlude on a rainy day because it accomplishes that.”
“Movie Review - Sex Weather” by Marlon Wallace.
BATTLE ROYALE WITH CHEESE - November 9, 2018
"There is sweetness behind this film, and also a kind of sadness....Garcia brilliantly portrays this sad truth, and does so in the simplest of ways.”
“Sex Weather” by Alton Williams (goes live Monday).
FILM THREAT - November 8, 2018 -
"The drama and story are good in its insightfulness about relationships, but nothing life-shattering or metaphysically profound. It’s just a good film with two outstanding performances about an unusual, yet authentic, love story."
“Sex Weather” by Alan Ng. 7/10 stars.
“You know exactly the type of weather Sex Weather refers to. They are the best Portland days—dreary, but not so freezing that you crank the heat, so your house is still a little cold, so you nest under the blankets with another warm body. It’s one of the best titles for a film I’ve ever heard, and the movie isn’t bad, either. Set and filmed in Portland, Sex Weather opens with two hungover, naked adults squinting at one another and trying to find their phones. Over the course of a single cloudy day spent in bed, Darrel (Al’Jaleel McGhee) and Sydney (Amber Stonebraker) play out a relationship’s worth of intimacy and affection and being total assholes the way you only can when you really love someone. You’d better be okay with those conversations, because this is 100 percent of the film’s content—which felt like way too much at first, but as I got to know the characters, I became a thirsty little fly on the wall, loving the drama and happy for the grey day that pushed these characters inside in the first place. Filmmakers in attendance.”
by Elinor Jones