I was very intrigued by a story such as this. The plot for this film reminded me of an older version of Fifty Shades of Grey, except MUCH better acting and far better writing. This film is a great example of how to make a film with a Fifty Shades type plot and how to actually make it engaging and real. What makes 9 1/2 Weeks a good film is two fold: the lead actors and their performances and the script. Some may think it’s a trashy sex obsessed film, and while sex is for sure a factor here, this film tells a very complex and tender story.
I’ve seen some great work from Kim Basinger in films like L.A. Confidential and Batman, but I think this is the best performance I’ve seen from her. Basinger displays both a sense of sexy fun and a sense of tenderness at the same time which is a great achievement. She plays a woman who is enchanted and hypnotized in a way by Mickey Rourke’s character and is excited by the sexual escapades he enjoys, but also desires to have a somewhat normal romantic relationship. I really do love her character and the way she’s written. She is very lovable and I think relatable.
Her male counterpart is Mickey Rourke, who looks very different here than what he does currently, let’s just get that out of the way. Rourke is great in this role, he fits the character both physically and emotionally. He’s very handsome here and effectively entices and intrigues. His character must be a charming sexy tease, to be frank. He must be able to project a smooth sexual energy but also have a soft side. The combination of these things is what forms his role and is what makes him so likable.
They’re both ultra talented and great on their own but do they have that electric sexual/romantic chemistry needed? Absolutely. This film’s sex scenes are far more tantalizing than any of the Fifty Shades films. These scenes work so well not just because of how much skin is shown or the body movements, that’s not what makes a love/sex scene successful. Yes, physicality and skin play a factor of course but GOOD ACTING and chemistry is the biggest/most important factor. If the actors seem wooden or if you can’t feel the chemistry between them then forget it, you can show as much nudity and be as raunchy as you want, if that chemistry is not there then none of the rest really matters.
Now as I mentioned, the physicality and choreography does matter and plays a role in the rate of success for these scenes. They come up with some pretty sexy scenarios for these two including ice and passionate sex outside in the rain; both of these scenes are very effective. While the rain scene is passionate and wild, the ice scene is more intimate and quiet. I like that they display different types of sex scenes here, wild/crazy and more quiet/tantalizing. There’s also a very energetic striptease that Basinger performs for Rourke which is a lot of fun and gives her character a chance to show that she can be a sexy tease just like Rourke’s character.
I really like how they wrote this film and how the plot evolves along the way. This sexual affair that seems to be a lot of fun for both of these people is lacking a sense of real romance and will that be a problem for Basinger’s character? Is kinky sex enough or does she desire more from him and this whole relationship? The writing tackles this issue and I think it does so effectively. This is what makes the story complex and interesting. Exploring these characters and what they really want from each other is what 9 1/2 Weeks is really centered around. There’s some well written dialogue between the two that I really loved, especially in the end. The ending is very well done and I feel like it’s organic and realistic. This is no fairy tale and I think that’s a good thing.
9 1/2 Weeks works because of the talented leads and the script. Basinger and Rourke prove they’re serious actors in their skilled performances and the script supports them with a plot that analyzes both their characters and their unusual relationship. Check out this 80s classic is you haven’t already.