This dangerously funny comedy stars Simon Baker (The Devil Wears Prada) as Roderick Blank. He’s a handsome, successful businessman, about to enter matrimony with his WASP-y fiancée (played by Julie Bowen).
He’s happy and content with his life until one day a mysterious e-mail arrives at his office. As his secretary, Trixie (portrayed by hilarious “The Facts of Life” alum Mindy Cohn) reads the names on the list, Roderick realizes that it contains all the women he’s bedded over the years.
However, his “magic number” is 29. The list contains 101 names. Uh-oh...
Meanwhile, there’s a crazy serial murderer wreaking havoc on the town. The media calls her “Death Nell.”
She’s a black widow who seduces and kills. Somehow, some way, her path will cross with Roderick’s.
Sex and Death 101 reunites Waters with his Heathers star, Winona Ryder (Death Nell). Two decades doesn’t seem to have altered actor and director one bit.
“It’s kind of funny how little either of us has changed ... and that sometimes scares the people around us,” says Waters. “Two Peter Pans on the set can be kind of spooky, but Winona and I still click on the same idiosyncratic, improperly socialized wavelength.”
101 is ripe with bawdy adult themes and plenty of good old fashioned S-E-X. As Roderick goes through the film, he’s placed time and time again in a plethora of amusing and sometimes unusual situations with women.
Who better to cast as a good-guy-gone-bad than Baker? The Aussie star has sent many libidos into overdrive in films like 2006’s Something New and Prada.
Waters feels that he was a natural to take the role of the loveable nice guy who gives himself over to his animal urges.
“I could not have made this movie without Simon Baker – although I didn’t completely appreciate that fact until after the movie was finished,” admits Waters. “It was very important that the character getting this list was not a goofy, giggling geek immaturely ejaculating over the promise of boobies. But it was equally important Roderick Blank not be the sleek, sleazy ‘ladies man’ getting an over-the-top comeuppance. Simon walked this razor’s edge with warmth and intelligence.”
As for all of the varied and highly naughty situations Roderick finds himself in during the course of the film, that was a deliberate pushing of the envelope by its writer-director.
“I thought, ‘This could be my Trojan Horse to put a lot of the things I want to say about sex on the big screen,’” says Waters.
Still, the best thing about Sex and Death 101 (aside from its laugh-out-loud wit) is its underlying premise. Waters couldn’t be more proud of his newest baby.
“What I love about this simple premise is that the more one thinks about it, the less cheesy and the more bizarrely profound it seems,” he muses. “I mean, go past the fantasy element of never having to worry about ‘will she or won’t she [sleep with me]?’ and other questions arise – Is sexuality the same without the thrill of pursuit? What if someone you hate is on the list? What if someone you love is NOT on the list? What if you come face to face with the last name on the list?”
Sex and Death 101 releases in select theaters April 4.