By Don Simpson | January 28, 2015
Director: Jiyoung Lee
Writer: Jiyoung Lee
Starring: Jennifer Kim, Joshua Mikel, Jiyoung Lee, Branden Waugh, Skizz Cyzyk, Eddie Ray, Alan Steadman, Zach White, Taylor Proctor, Josh Hall, Kate McManus, Millie De Chirico
It is not often that a theremin and dildo are given the opportunity to share the same scene in a film, but Jiyoung Lee’s Female Pervert finds an incredibly humorous way to make those two props work together. The situation is just one of many examples of how Phoebe (Jennifer Kim) often sends guys running away from her, sometimes with their pants off. Guys seem to find Phoebe attractive, but her “abnormal” sexual behavior scares them away.
Female Pervert is a sincere examination of sexuality and the roles that we are “supposed” to play in relationships. First and foremost, Lee’s film acutely contemplates how difficult it is to find a mate with similar sexual desires, especially when those desires could be considered “perverse.” Yeah, sure, she likes to check out www.doesthisshirtlookgoodonme.org (a website featuring guys wearing shirts and nothing else), but is Phoebe really a pervert? Okay, I guess she has a few other potential “issues” to deal with, but in the grand scheme of things, I suspect this is more about sexual politics and less about perversions.
For some, Phoebe’s behavior may seem like borderline sexual assault, but is that at least partially due to the loosey-goosey definition of “pervert” — just because a woman is being more sexually aggressive than a male does not make her a “pervert,” right? In other words, sexual inequality is at least partially at play. Sure, Phoebe is self-destructive and incredibly awkward in social situations, yet that is at least partially because she must contend with the male domination of the world. Luckily for Phoebe, she is very confident and self-assured. That might not bode well for Phoebe’s dating experiences thus far, but it seems fairly probable that she will eventually get what she wants.
This review has yet to discuss what Lee has to say about Haruki Murakami or Millennials’ participation (or lack thereof) in social and environmental activism. That may, or may not, come sooner or later.