Movie Review: Love and Air Sex
Austin360.com | Austin American-Statesman
“Love & Air Sex” plays out as a local director’s salute to the raunchy, comedic side of Austin.
As the title suggests, air sex becomes the centerpiece of this movie from Austin director Bryan Poyser — and if you don’t know what that is, it’s basically people getting up on stage at the Alamo Ritz and pretending to have sex with the air as an audience cheers them on.
But before the big competition, Poyser sets the scene for love and all its travails. Here’s the setup:
Stan (Michael Stahl-David) is trying to break into the film business and has moved from Austin to Los Angeles, but he pines for the woman he left behind, Cathy (Ashley Bell), who has moved from Austin to New York to pursue a degree in medicine.
When Cathy posts on Facebook that she’s planning a weekend trip back to Austin to see her friend Kara (Sara Paxton), Stan sees the message and thinks that maybe he can rekindle their romance if he shows up in Austin on the same weekend. It may not be the best idea, but Stan telephones his good friend Jeff (Zach Cregger) and asks to be picked up at the airport.
There’s one big problem, however. Kara and Jeff were lovers and have recently broken up. And they’re fighting, big-time, with Jeff crashing at the apartment of a couple of friends after Kara kicked him out.
Also, Kara sees Stan arriving at the Austin airport while she’s waiting to pick up Cathy, and she quickly decides that she needs to protect Cathy from any weekend hookup with Stan.
Jeff, meanwhile, has been working out his romantic frustrations on the stage of the Alamo, where he has been winning air sex competitions. And a big championship is coming up, so he pleads with the befuddled Stan for support.
Since this is ultimately all about folks in their 20s and their tentative and sometimes disastrous romantic involvements, you might expect to see a few clichéd views of Austin: Sixth Street. The Frost Building tower. Red River Street. Pedicabs. Funky cars. The Broken Spoke. And people who dress weirdly. “Love & Air Sex” embraces all such things.
It also features pop-up screens containing texts, and lots and lots of cellphone use, with cameo appearances by such Austin regulars as Paul Soileau, Chale Nafus and Kim LeBlanc. Former Austinite Marshall Allman also has a small but memorable role as a would-be one-night stand for Kara.
Poyser, a former director of artist services for the Austin Film Society, is clearly trying to expand his audience with “Love & Air Sex,” which takes a more comedic approach than his first two films, “Lovers of Hate” (2010) and “Dear Pillow” (2005). He shares screenplay credits with David DeGrow Shotwell and Steven Walters.
Whatever your views on air sex, Poyser’s latest tries to be sweet amid the raunch, and it features good performances from the four main characters (who really should never have split up). Before the final credits roll, you’ll probably know where “Love & Air Sex” is headed, but it’s coming out on Valentine’s Day, so what do you expect?