Sex comedies are nothing new in Bollywood, with varying degrees of success and quality. But very few have been from a female perspective. The closest would be Veere Di Wedding, which, while being very open-minded, focused more on a wedding. But the same makers are behind a new movie that is all about the female orgasm, as I’ll discuss in this Thank You For Coming review. The movie premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival 2023.
Thank You For Coming Is A Rare Sex Comedy About Women
The raunchy sex comedy genre does pretty well in theatres, although, I’m usually not a big fan. But Thank You For Coming is an interesting one as it deals with the often taboo topic of the female orgasm. And I don’t mean taboo by Indian standards, but even in general. Even in the West. Kanika (Bhumi Pednekar) is a woman in her thirties who has had some failed relationships and has never had an orgasm, much to her chagrin. Realizing this, she sets out on a path to change it. However, it’s harder than it sounds. No pun intended.
Kanika struggles to, not only find the elusive orgasm, but the right man that can help her achieve one. The story then stumbles a little going back and forth and conflating lack of sexual pleasure with lack of companionship or love. But I guess it’s all kind of related anyway, so it’s not that big of a sticking point for me. However, Kanika does end up finding pleasure, but after a drunken night where she doesn’t remember anything. Or anyone. So she has to sober up and find the elusive man who finally made her orgasm. That’s the story.
It’s Giving The Hangover Meets Sex And The City
While the premise of the movie is very sex-comedy, as in outrageous, unrealistic and at times very cringey, it kind of works. Director Karan Booolani is great at keeping the energy of the movie up, so it’s never dragging, but the messages of the film get a little mixed and all over the place. On the surface, the story really deals with sex-positivity and the hypocrisy behind women not being able to be open sexually without the labels of society. Which is great, and definitely more Indian films need to address these topics.
However, Thank You For Coming almost loses that message in service of the characters’ stories which take us away from that. In between we do get some great moments about companionship, love and where sex factors in a relationship, but it’s at the expense of the premise. It almost seems like the filmmakers wanted to make a raunchy sexy comedy, but also wanted to play it safe. Which is absolutely fine, but I personally wish they had gone a little further and taken more risks.
Thank You For Coming Review Is Spoiler-Free
Ultimately though, this Thank You For Coming review focuses on a film that works on many different levels. There are some issues the story does not compromise on. Like Kanika’s mom (Natasha Rastogi) having her out of wedlock and maintaining her single woman status all these decades. Which is probably more sex-positive and empowering for women than anything else in the movie. There are some characters that become caricatures, but for the most part, everyone is serviceable here.
The standout moments are when Anil Kapoor appears, probably playing his age for the first time in years. He absolutely steals every scene he’s in, as the butt of the joke, which is even more surprising. Shehnaaz Gill as the uplifting girl boss-bestie is all kinds of awesome. While I thought they would do more with that character, her inclusion in any scene won me over. There are some great comedic moments that had me rolling in my seat. And ultimately the movie works as a comedy, despite some inconsistencies in tone and messages.
If seen as a movie that has a message, like sexual empowerment, feminism or anything else, you will find it lacking. But as a sex comedy that is all kinds of bonkers, and deals with the stigma of being single and how loneliness makes us all act in crazy ways, then Thank You For Coming works.
Thank You For Coming is premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival 2023.
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TIFF 2023: THANK YOU FOR COMING Is The Hangover Meets Sex And The City
- Acting - 7/107/10
- Cinematography/Visual Effects - 7/107/10
- Plot/Screenplay - 6/106/10
- Setting/Theme - 7.5/107.5/10
- Watchability - 7/107/10
- Rewatchability - 5/105/10