A sort of cousin of the Sexy Clothes-Drop, The Privacy Pan-Away comes when you know two people are about to do the nasty. In the triumph of American cinema known as Maid in Manhattan, J. Lo and Voldemort are about to finally consummate their relationship, but we never actually see him Slytherin her Hufflepuff. They make out for a second, then the camera suddenly finds something else to do.
How convienent! The whole movie has been building up to this moment; in romantic comedies, having sex at the end of the movie means you're in love. Except, it all just fades away. What is supposedly the emotional climax of the movie takes place offscreen, like a more infuriating version of No Country for Old Men. The next thing we see is dawn breaking and the loving couple snuggled up in bed.
Defying all social conventions, their first-time sex was both magical and satisfying. And still, we still didn't get to see it. Look, I'm not saying that we need 5 minutes of softcore monster mashing, but if you're running on the very basic and very dumb platform that sex = love, you should probably show some of it in action. Instead, in every almost romantic comedy, the sex is an afterthought.
It might be in part because nudity in movies is almost always directed at dudes, so maybe there's some sort of false perception any explicit sex scenes would turn it into a movie for guys. No matter the cause, the camera never thinks to follow kissing lovers to the floor.
Hell, a lot of times it will actively pan away from the action to something else. What's more interesting: Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson in the shower, or this dumpy yellow towel hanging on the rack?
Though I guess when people do get down in PG-13 movies, there's always something in the way.
Women in movie sex scenes must regularly coat their nipples in Gorilla Glue, because once they hit the sheets, they're never not covered. Take this scene in Goldeneye, for instance. The bedspread is pulled down to Bond's waist, baring his bodacious barreled chest, but when Natalya climbs on top of him, the sheet clings to her breasts like it's made of magnetized Saran Wrap.
Granted, that's after sex. However, the Anti-Nudity Sheet is still on duty during the act itself.
Anyone tried actually having sex while wrapped in sheets like that? It's basically another level of birth control, because there's a good chance that any dude is going to end up fucking a fold of 100% cotton instead of the human being he's in bed with. This is what you get when you want to show people doing it but don't want to scar your audience with what sex actually looks like.
It's even crazier in movies that already contain nudity.
If you remember only one thing from the movie Titanic, it's either the part where that guy hits the ship's propeller or it's the scene where Jack draws a nude sketch of Rose. That, and the sexy handprint during their steamy romp from within a horseless carriage.
You'd figure that whatever magic spell James Cameron employed to get the nude drawing scene past the censors would also work when it came to the sex scene, but nope, there's the Anti-Nudity Bedsheet, covering up the naughty parts that a billion people saw 10 minutes prior.
Previous to this moment, the drawing scene was so sexually charged that Leonardo DiCaprio accidentally told Kate Winslet to "Get on the bed, uhhh couch" -- but nudity was okay because someone had a pencil in their hand. Take the conceit of fine art away and all you've got is two people engaging in the ultimate expression of human intimacy. Which is obviously not something anyone 16 and under should see.
I know some of this stuff was borderline before, but for our last entry we're going to the very edge of what they allow in PG-13. If your job happens to take place in a pre-school for nuns, this might get NSFW.