9 1/2 Weeks (1986)

9 1/2 Weeks (1986)

“How did you know I’d respond to you the way I have?”

A woman (Kim Basinger) gets involved in a steamy affair with a mysterious, kinky broker (Mickey Rourke).

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Mickey Rourke Films
  • S&M
  • Sexuality

Response to Peary’s Review:
In his review of this infamous softcore sexual drama — based on an autobiographical novel by “Elizabeth McNeil” — Peary expresses little but puzzled bewilderment, wondering why Basinger’s Elizabeth — who “seems too smart, too independent, and too under control to have anything to do with Rourke” — would be attracted to someone like him in the first place. But I think he misses the point of sadomasochistic impulses: seemingly “strong” people like Elizabeth may find themselves caught up in fantasies which even they don’t understand; thus, Elizabeth’s reluctance to leave the increasingly controlling affair makes sense on some level. For a superior work on S&M, however, see the more recent Secretary (2002) starring Maggie Gyllenhal and James Spader.

Redeeming Qualities:

  • Basinger’s vulnerable, sexy performance

Must See?
No. While it holds some historical interest for the controversy surrounding its “almost X-rated” status, it’s not must-see viewing.


2 thoughts on “9 1/2 Weeks (1986)

  1. Crap.

    Slick crap, but crap.

    And I’m certainly no prude but there are perhaps few things worse than boring movies about sex.

    How did Adrian Lyne ever greenlight a film career?

    Thankfully, he seems to have stopped.

  2. I never got all the way through this tawdry film back in the day. I remember starting to watch it on VHS and just got bored quickly; sex as the raison d’tre of a story nevber really works for me.

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