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Review: Crude comedy ‘Confessions of a Womanizer’ eventually makes its point

Andrew Caldwell, left, and Gary Busey in the movie "Confessions of a Womanizer."
(Harbor House Films)

It shouldn’t be a surprise that a film titled “Confessions of a Womanizer” starts with a transphobic crack that the main character Richie (Andrew Lawrence) makes during his rock-bottom moment, sharing a jail cell with a trans woman, Ginger (Kelly Mantle, from the sixth season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race”). At rock bottom, there’s only one direction left to go, but “Womanizer” spends the majority of its running time scraping the bottom of the barrel before finding a shred of redemption.

It’s the tale of a young man searching for as many opportunities as possible to have sex without a condom while avoiding the label of a “relationship.” Presented as a boys-will-be-boys sex comedy, it’s quite a dark and tragic tale, as Richie’s clearly a sex addict with a binge-eating disorder. He spends equal amounts of screen time devouring ice cream sundaes as he does wrestling with attractive women in lingerie. His troubled views on love are traced directly back to his abusive father (C. Thomas Howell) and childhood rejection.

Written and directed by Miguel Ali, the script mostly consists of juvenile euphemisms for genitalia and takes place in two locations — Richie’s apartment and the diner where he riffs with his obnoxious buddies Matt (Andrew Caldwell) and Gary (Gary Busey). But somehow, despite the sexist, foul-mouthed rancor, there are messages to be found about the false promises of toxic masculinity and learning to be the person you want to be without repeating the sins of your parents. Though it’s rough going to get there.

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‘Confessions of a Womanizer’

Not rated

Running time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Playing: Laemmle NoHo 7, North Hollywood

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