Winner of the Un Certain Regard prize at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival, How to Have Sex is a vibrant and authentic depiction of the agonies, ecstasies and ride-or-die glory of young female friendship, from rising British filmmaker Molly Manning Walker. Three British teenage girls go on a rites-of-passage holiday, drinking, clubbing and hooking up in what should be the best summer of their lives. As they dance their way across the sun-drenched streets of Malia, they find themselves navigating the complexities of sex, consent and self-discovery. We open the film this Friday at the Laemmle Glendale and Monica Film Center.
In a recent interview with Film Inquiry, Walker spoke about the film’s potent impact on audiences: “We didn’t really know the scale of it when we were making it. We kind of felt like it was quite personal. And then as we put it out into the world, we saw that.”
“Walker often lets the camera linger on McKenna-Bruce’s face and eyes that convey all the things she can’t find the words for. It is a shattering performance and made all the more devastating because it’s so subtle.” ~ Lindsey Bahr, Associated Press
“McKenna-Bruce’s fearless lead is both emotionally exposing and very finely calibrated, slipping from exuberance to anxiety to desperation sometimes in a single shot.” ~ Jonathan Romney, Financial Times
“Manning Walker’s film lays out the minefield of sexual education and consent for a post-#MeToo generation, with a precision to its ambiguities that will draw gasps from its characters’ contemporaries and elders alike.” ~ Guy Lodge, Variety
“In its frankness and often frightening candor, How to Have Sex is of a piece with coming-of-age dramas like Thirteen and The Diary of a Teenage Girl, with a dash of the lascivious, neon-colored bacchanalia of Spring Breakers thrown in for good measure.” ~ Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
“[It] could easily have become a simplistic cautionary tale, a racier version of an after-school special. Instead, Walker’s delicate eye and feel for rhythm lend the movie an ominous cadence.” ~ Bilge Ebiri, New York Magazine/Vulture
“A different kind of Greek tragedy — no grand myth, just a heart-sore, everyday observation of what the world does to girls and what the world makes girls do to themselves.” ~ Jessica Kiang, Los Angeles Times