Ah hah! Porn. Ain’t it just wacky. No matter how much we try to deny it exists or think we’re above it, there it is – in our face.
Of course, this is the internet and it takes a serious problem of denial to not believe the vast majority of hard drives contain some pornographic material.
Not being one of those (in denial – not with a clean hard drive) I still approached AV with a bit of trepidation. After all the basic premise of a couple of University students coming up with a convoluted plan to get some sex is a genre one tends to grow out of upon leaving high school.
Or am I starting to sound like the one in denial?
Despite this, it is quite surprising to find that there is a bit more depth to AV beyond the puerile male hi-jinx the blurb suggests. If anything, there is a distinct lack of unreal escapades amongst our central protagonists, and this lends the film a more serious air than one might expect from reading the synopsis. In fact, if the film does suffer, it fails when those rare comedic moments arise in the beginning of the film and an uncomfortable atmosphere just permeates the punchline. Of course, this could be an intentional subversion of certain expectations but if that was the case, it was probably too heavy handed in its approach.
The strength of AV, though, does lie in how it plays with conventions, which gives an intriguing look at gender relations, particularly from the male perspective. Expectations are often played against the reality not only in the portrayal of women but also in the expectations from students and youth as the ‘future’.
The film is quite conservative in its use of nudity and sex, despite the material, being neither excessive nor exploitative. Of course, the material content alone kind of dismisses it as clean family fun. Nonetheless AV is a thought provoking film and another example of substance existing beyond its marketing.