The movie’s preview on Netflix’s homepage might appear as if your average rom-com, but its description reads sort of a low-budget p0-rno: “Tired of the emotional hassles of relationships, two girlfriends keep a pair of unemployed construction workers around during a ‘strictly $e-xual’ role.” The title of this would-be art-house classic? Strictly $e-xual, a 2008 straight-to-video steamy flick masquerading as a romantic comedy. It’s actually one among the foremost vanilla borderline-softcore movies available on Netflix, famous for its no-p0-rn policy — these 19 d!rty movies on Netflix, parading as actual “cinema,” all tread a line between actually having a plot and just depicting people boning. They’re misleading — many of the previews for these movies on Netflix’s streaming site appear as if either raunchy comedies à la Will Ferrell or serious romantic dramas like Blue is that the Warmest Color, but upon further investigation, they’re unrated d!rty romps with premises loosely supported those more famous, and sometimes actually cinematic, forebears.
Strictly $e-xual isn’t even particularly ex-pl!c!t, despite its NR rating. But its clickbait-y title earned it a spot at the highest of Hulu’s all-time most-watched films as of 2010, consistent with NPR. In contrast, many of Netflix’s similarly titled offerings do not have quite as wide an audience (and possess dismally low Rotten Tomatoes scores), though their premises are equally d!rty — and their scenes much more ex-pl!c!t. (Hooking Up, a movie about college boys getting it on with highschool girls in graphic style, is somehow a movie that really got made.) Frat houses, bachelor/bachelorette parties, camp , off-limits neighbors — the tropes are well-worn, allowing these movies to masquerade as knockoff romantic comedies while offering something a touch more d!rty. Really, 10 Rules for promiscuity has nothing in common with 10 Things I Hate About You. This could be your thing — no judgment if so — but you ought to just know what you’re stepping into .
1. A Perfect Ending
The dramatic thrust of this film is given to lines like, “It’s important we eat dinner as a family,” and, “I spent my whole life trying to be perfect.” If that doesn’t say it all, A Perfect Ending features the burgeoning relationship between a suburban housewife with a floundering marriage (a friend suggests she take a lover — “a woman”) and a high-class escort from a service aimed at “educating” its clients.