Investigating Sex

Rating: * * 1/2 (out of 5)
Director: Alan Rudolph
Running time: 105 minutes
Language: English
Currently showing
[See Japan Times movie listings]

The Soul of a Man

Rating: * * * (out of 5)
Director: Wim Wenders
Running time: 104 minutes
Language: English
Opens Aug. 28
[See Japan Times movie listings]

There are many things I could tell you about "Investigating Sex," but perhaps the most telling is this: Actresses Julie Delpy and Robin Tunney both have brief nude scenes within the film's first five minutes, and both are prominently featured -- topless -- in the film's advertising. This is almost always a sign of a film that's desperate to pull an audience and "Investigating Sex," upon closer inspection, does prove to be a curious misfire -- one that went straight to video in most other markets.

This is a movie with a certain vibe, a certain arch manner in its performances that you've got to roll with if it's going to work for you. But director Alan Rudolph ("Mrs. Parker," "Afterglow") never establishes the tone strongly enough for us to do so; it's as if it's trying dance to "Kung Fu Fighting" while still sober.