'Sex Ed': Film Review
Haley Joel Osment plays a virginal sex education teacher in this raunchy romantic comedy
It's not easy for child stars to make the transition to adult roles. And it's even harder when they choose material like Sex Ed, in which Haley Joel Osment plays a virginal middle school teacher who lands the titular assignment for which he's sadly not qualified. While Isaac Feder's raunchy comedy gives the Sixth Sense star the opportunity to roll a condom over a banana and talk really dirty, it offers precious little to even the most undemanding audiences.
In a presumed nod to his most famous role, the actor plays Eddie Cole — Cole was the first name of the young boy who saw dead people — who can't seem to escape the specter of sex even though he isn't getting any. A pair of customers at the bagel shop where he works ask if they can use the bathroom for a quickie in which the young woman can enjoy a "cock bagel." Returning to his apartment, he discovers his womanizing roommate (Glen Powell) about to get it on with his latest conquest (Castille Landon). And when he finally lands a gig at a local school, it's not teaching algebra but rather sex education to a classroom full of highly curious youngsters who keep asking inappropriate questions.
Nonetheless, Eddie soon warms up to his new position, especially when he meets Pilar (Lorenza Izzo), the beautiful older sister of one of his students. Unfortunately, she already has a boyfriend, the macho Hector (Ray Santiago), who doesn't take kindly to the new interloper.
Eddie's problems continue to escalate. He lands in jail after an ill-fated attempt at purchasing the services of a beautiful hooker who turns out to be a man and incurs the wrath of the reverend father (Chris Williams) of one of his more rambunctious students (Isaac White).
Screenwriter Bill Kennedy half-heartedly attempts to make some relevant points about society's hypocritical attitudes toward educating its young people about sex, but the film is essentially a lowbrow comedy in which a young woman asking her boyfriend, "If I was in a bar and had jizz on me, would you still come up and talk to me?" is considered a serious question. Although not as serious as the discussion about whether the gay characters on the sitcom Modern Family are tops or bottoms.
The sad-sack Eddie, who played the least sexy instrument in his high school jazz band, the oboe, is hardly an appealing character. But he shines in comparison to the film's female characters, who apparently find the prospect of relieving him of his virginity a huge turn-on.
There are some amusing moments, mostly provided by the reliable Matt Walsh (Veep), delivering a hilariously deadpan comic turn as Eddie's supervisor, whose idea of sage wisdom is never going to a strip club in your own town. Osment mainly wanders through the proceedings looking embarrassed, and it feels more than appropriate.
Production: Sweet Tomato Films, Ikeymo
Cast: Haley Joel Osment, Glen Powell, Lorenza Izzo, Matt Walsh, Retta, Laura Harring, Kevin Hernandez, Chris Williams
Director: Isaac Feder
Screenwriter: Bill Kennedy
Producers: Dori Sperko, Elayne Schneiderman Schmidt, Monika Casey, Stephen Feder
Executive producer: Thomas E. Kelly
Director of photography: Brian Burgoyne
Production designer: Theresa Guleserian
Editor: Christopher Gay
Costume designer: Phoenix Mellow
Composer: Alexander Kemp
Casting: Danielle Aufiero
No rating, 92 minutes