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There is no shortage of sex in the movies, but sometimes it does feel like there is a shortage of sexy. Over at Entertainment Weekly they have compiled the list of what they claim are the 25 sexiest movies of All-Time, and while I agree with most of their picks, I do think in a few cases they have managed to confuse love with sex (but haven't we all?). The list covers everything from full on sex flicks like 9 1/2 Weeks to more subtle fare like Martin Scorsese's The Age of Innocence. So first let's take a look at the films that earned a spot on EW's hall of fame, and then we'll get to five movies that get my pulse racing.
The top five is pretty much what you would expect: you've got the baseball comedy Bull Durham in the number five spot, followed by the 80's noir classic Body Heat, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Hawk's screwball masterpiece His Girl Friday, and in the number one spot is Soderbergh's Out of Sight. It's a pretty comprehensive list overall, and even a few foreign language selections made the cut, but I know better than anybody else that sometimes there isn't room for all the movies you would like on a list, so that's why I decided to add a few suggestions of my own.
After the jump: five suggestions for the sexiest movies of all time...
1. The Palm Beach Story
We all know that sexy isn't just about skin, and yes, a few classic films made it onto EW's list, but they forgot about Preston Sturges' gold-digging comedy, The Palm Beach Story. The film starred Joel McCrea and Claudette Colbert whose marriage and finances have hit the skids, and after a few rounds of mistaken identities and slamming doors, all is right with the world and our lovebirds are reunited -- and with their finances in the black. One of Sturges' great lines of dialog was "...but with a little sex in it" and that's just what you got in this screwball comedy -- and I don't know about you, but one look at McCrea in that tux and he could make me say 'Papa' anytime.
2. Henry & June
*Warning: the clip contains brief nudity and is NSFW.
I have always had a thing for bohemians and 1930's Paris, so I'll admit that this is one of those movies that won me over with set design. The film was co-written and directed by Philip Kaufman and sure it may be a little overwrought, but it's all just so lush and...well, sexy that it all works somehow. The film tells the story of the love triangle between famed diarist Anaïs Nin, American author Henry Miller, and his wife June (in the form of Uma Thurman looking like a Tamara de Lempicka painting come to life), and is chock-full of 'sexy times'. So if you were thinking this was going to be one of those period pieces about longing and denial, think again.
3. The Big Easy
This film was known for its sexy factor when it was first released in 1987, but beyond being an entertaining little crime flick, even 22 years later the sex scenes between leads Dennis Quaid and Ellen Barkin can still cause you to blush depending on your tastes. The story of a romance between a (slightly) dirty Cajun cop (played by Quaid) and a goody-goody DA (Barkin) in the center of a criminal conspiracy captures all those old tropes about the voluptuous South and adds a little jazz and Dixie beer to turn it into a sexy little gumbo all it's own.
4. Laurel Canyon
I can be as freaky as the next girl but even I have some tried and true rules, and one of the main ones is: getting it on with your significant others' family members is gross. But in the 2002 drama, Laurel Canyon, I was too busy being seduced by Jane and her Almost Famous lifestyle that I had no time to be skeeved out by the relationship unfolding in front of me. The film starred Christian Bale as the put upon son of a rock legend (Frances McDormand) who comes to visit with his new uptight wife (Kate Beckinsale) while looking for a job and flirting with a beautiful Israeli co-worker (Natascha McElhone). So while McDormand may not be the conventionally sexy type, when I watched Beckinsale slowly fall for her and her whole rock n' roll lifestyle (complete with an English rock star boyfriend) it all seemed pretty believable, and more importantly, understandable. The film is full family guilt and infidelity, so you might be wondering how it's even remotely sexy, but when it comes to sex, this movie proves that "the heart wants what it wants".
5. Vicky Cristina Barcelona
You would think that a film starring Scarlett Johansson, Javier Bardem, and Penélope Cruz in a ménage à trois against the backdrop of the lush Spanish countryside would earn a spot on the list of the sexiest movies of all time, wouldn't you? Well, I certainly did, but maybe it was because the story of two American girl's romantic awakening while on vacation in Spain is tinted with all of Woody Allen's usual outlooks on life and love, which aren't always the most upbeat. But I happen to like a little reality with my fantasy, and real and honest sexuality is always much hotter than the Maxim or Girls Gone Wild point of view.
Leave your votes for the sexiest films of all time in the comments below...