In her review of THREESOME, Rrr Mmmm helps reframe the social issues surrounding sexual preference that might have been viewed as more highly controversal in 1994 than they are today, twenty-five years later.
Review by Rrr Mmmm
We recently talked about the movie Threesome and I want to revisit the movie because I believe the film was ahead of its time.
Threesome was released in 1994 and stars Lara-Flynn Boyle, Stephen Baldwin, and Josh Charles. The film was directed by Andrew Fleming and focuses on three college roommates and the impact that their intimate relationship has on their lives. As the title suggests they have a menage a trois but to truly understand this film you need to delve a little deeper into the context of the period in which the film was made as well as the sentiment of the lead character and his confessions to the viewer throughout the film.The film begins with an introduction from Eddy, who is a college junior and has just transferred to a new school. The film is told from Eddy’s point of view and his personal thoughts are always told to the viewer either verbally or through visual communication replicating a real-life experience. You don’t get too far into the film when Eddy defines what it means to be a sexual deviant and makes an impromptu confession that he is or might be a person who falls into this category. Having made this serious confession to the viewer in the first few minutes of the film is a stark contrast to the carefree background of the college campus he enters into. The reference to sexual deviancy is impossible to ignore in this film and the story invites the viewer to seek an answer to this question.
Eddy meets his new roommate, Stu, who is his polar opposite. Stu’s IDGAF attitude and “live life to its fullest” approach perturbs Eddy, but somehow they both learn to get along. After settling into a well-established routine, along comes Alex to shake things up. Alex is a woman who needs a dorm room and somehow ends up in a dorm room with two men, even though the campus doesn’t allow this. An error in her application falsely classifies her as a male and she has no choice but to stay in the dorm room with Eddy and Stu.
When Alex moves in we see the normal “getting to know you” segments such as “did you eat my food in the fridge?” and “please clean up after yourself” happen, we also notice how intrigued Eddy and Stu are with Alex. She’s a young, beautiful, and intelligent woman with a bright future, and both Eddy and Stu are falling for her.
Although Alex isn’t trying to, she manages to avoid the “boys” (that’s how she views them) while Stu makes a concerted effort to run into her. She finally acknowledges that they exist with Stu and Eddie even attend one of her theatricals, a lesbian version of Oedipus Rex, which gave me a chuckle. Despite a bad performance, Stu tells Alex her performance wasn’t that bad and Alex resents him for lying to her. Alex is more attracted to Eddy and finds herself chasing after him. Soon, Stu is chasing after Alex, and Eddy is falling for Stu.
After candid discussions of homosexuality, Eddy’s confessions of being attracted to both men and women and declaring that gay sex is better than straight sex, Eddy, Stu, and Alex make a pact to not have sex with one another that is soon broken.
Figuring out the details is a not smooth process as demonstrated by the fact that while both Stu and Eddy sleep with Alex, each of the pairing’s encounters leaves at least one partner longing for the missing participant to complete the triad. Despite the setbacks, the trio realizes they love each other and have made an undeniable connection emotionally and physically.
The art film aspect in this movie becomes apparent because it’s at this point that each character doesn’t hide how they feel about each other and about themselves anymore. It’s a release of the burden of hiding their feelings and they can now express themselves in ways they’ve always wanted to, uninhibited, unbridled, and passionate. You can see their love blossoming right in front of your eyes.
They have a deep and intense desire for one another that can only be quenched with carnal pleasure. In the culminating love scene, Stu and Eddy encircle Alex in her bed. Stu gently and lovingly strokes Alex as she smiles from ear to ear in ecstasy. Eddy caresses Alex with an ostrich feather in his hand as he snuggles close to her. This love scene is absolutely infectious. Stu reaches for Eddy’s hand to complete the circle.
At the end of the school year, the lovers part ways but their experience is part of what shapes them, makes them whole, and ultimately transforms their beliefs of what a relationship is.
As an observer, I came to the conclusion that the notion of Eddy believing that he, Stu, and Alex are sexual deviants is was a misguided one. In 1994 the idea of same-sex marriage and polyamorous relationships was perceived in a negative light.
My love for this film stems from the fact that it provides another point of view without castigating current views on relationships or normative ideas.
I believe that Threesome doesn’t necessarily ask the viewer to make a decision on partner selection nor does it ask you to label or define yourself with a category.
The film makes a good point of showing that a person can care for someone and sometimes it doesn’t matter what gender they are.