Simply put, it can’t be a film called Sex After Kids without the sex. And Jeremy knew exactly how to do it, once again with an unconventional twist. Most sex scenes in romantic comedies lean toward being sweet, romantic and generally not at all realistic. Jeremy didn’t find that interesting, so instead he went for something different. He explains, “For me the sex scenes were never intended to be sexy. They had to be ugly or awkward and always honest. It’s a comedy so it’s meant to be exaggerated a bit, but our aim was to ground it enough that people could, unfortunately, see themselves in the characters’ situations.”
Awkward and ugly is one thing on paper but Jeremy ensured that his cast were comfortable with scenes, he says, “That was a big part of the collaboration as well, making sure that people were comfortable with what we wanted to do and to show. So it was a balancing act both on the page and on set.”
For Shannon Beckner’s character, finding pleasure didn’t necessarily mean finding it with her husband but it did mean finding a new level of comfort in front of the camera. She explains, “I thought the scene where my character discovers the hidden pleasures of the washing machine would be uncomfortable to shoot in front of the crew but it was actually very funny and I had a really good time.”
Shannon’s sex scene with Ennis, when their characters have sex for the first time since having their baby, turned out to be one of Ennis’ favourite parts of the film. He explains, “It was something that came up in rehearsal. Because it’s the first time Jules and Ben try to have sex in over a year, it’s all very awkward and mechanical. There’s one part, that Jules demands Ben not move a muscle. We came up with a thing where ‘don’t move’ extends to ‘don’t lose your erection,’ and that cracked us up pretty good!”
Zoie Palmer’s character Lou also had an awkward attempt at a little sexual adventure with David Tompa’s character, Xander. Her character tries so desperately but comedy ensues when the shenanigans begin. Of the scene she says, “Sex scenes are always kind of crazy whether it’s comedy or drama, you just have to jump in with both feet. David Tompa, who I ‘almost but didn’t have sex with’ is seriously one of the funniest people ever. It was so great to have him as a scene partner. I think we pretty much nailed it, so to speak.”
Of her sex scene with Peter Keleghan, Amanda Brugel says, “I was a little nervous to have my first love scene with one of our country’s most beloved icons, but seconds after meeting him, I felt like we had known and really cared about one another for years.”
Without wanting to reveal anything about his scene with Amanda, even for production notes, Peter simply says the following about the scene: “Sufficient to say it is 1. Bizarre. 2. I’ve never heard of it. 3. It actually happened to someone Jeremy knows.” Enough said to clearly indicate that it, or any other sex scenes in this film, are not your typical love scenes.