A dark and somber two-part tale by director Todd Solondz: The first part, titled "Fiction," stars Selma Blair as a confused college student who tries to rationalize her affair with a professor. The second part, titled "Non-Fiction," stars Paul Giamatti as a wannabe documentarian who points his camera at a troubled teenager and his family (John Goodman and Julie Hagerty play the teen's parents). Also with Leo Fitzpatrick, Robert Wisdom and Maria Thayer. [1:24]
SEX/NUDITY 9 - An older man lies across a bed and tells a young woman to remove her clothes (we see her nude from the side), turn around and bend over; the man approaches her, we hear him unzip his pants and he penetrates her from behind. The screen is covered by a digitally-produced red square during the actual sex act, but we hear everything and we see the participants in close up from the side a few times, with the man thrusting and the young woman jerking with her hands on the wall. A young man tells another young man that he "likes him" and it is suggested that a sex act is performed when one young man lies back on a bed, the other young man approaches him and we hear his pants unzip. We see many photographs of a fully nude woman in different positions (exposing all parts of her anatomy). A woman moves rhythmically and moans while straddling a man (she is nude and we see her bare breasts from the side and later from the front as she dresses). An older man touches a young woman's hand and face.
VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - An older African-American man tells a young woman to repeat racist slurs while having sex with her. Two young men look at a gun and one of them holds the gun to his head and then points it at the other young man. A woman turns on the gas and covers the doors in a house while four people sleep inside; we see body bags being loaded onto ambulances later. A woman talks about her grandchild having been executed with poison gas. A young man is tackled in a football practice and he is shown in a coma on a ventilator. A young man imagines his parents screaming while being burned at the stake. A professor berates a student for bad writing, a man yells at his son and is physically threatening, and a coach yells at his players. Two boys hit each other a couple of times. A boy says that his reclusive brother could be dead or building a bomb. A man urinates in a restroom (we hear a trickle).
PROFANITY 8 - 25 F-words, 10 scatological terms, 2 sexual references, 4 anatomical terms, 6 mild obscenities, 12 derogatory terms for African-Americans, 1 derogatory term for a handicapped person, 1 religious profanity, 3 religious exclamations and some name-calling. [profanity glossary]
DISCUSSION TOPICS - Racism, pity, kinkiness, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, rape, homosexuality, taboos, troubled teens, heaven, hell, angels, the Holocaust, suicide, disillusionment, despair, humiliation, sex between professors and students.
MESSAGE - Life isn't fair.
(Note: People are shown drinking alcohol and smoking in a bar, and a young man is shown smoking and eating marijuana.)