by Christopher Campbell
In the 76 years since Hedy Lamarr came on the scene with her groundbreaking orgasm in the Czech film Ecstasy, we’ve seen countless onscreen simulations of sexual climax, few of which have been more awful and embarrassing than the one depicted in the new romantic comedy The Ugly Truth. The scene (watch it here) features Katherine Heigl’s character having an awkwardly pleasurable dinner meeting thanks to some vibrating panties and an unknowing kid in possession of the undergarment’s remote control.
Obviously it evokes all previous dining-scene-set orgasms (there have been plenty), but the bit in The Ugly Truth probably wouldn’t seem fresh or funny even if there were no precedent for scenes of its kind. Though indirect, the fact that it’s a preteen boy causing the orgasm makes the moment a little disturbing, as well. We’re sure that some moviegoers will find humor in it, but we came away from the scene feeling displeasure proportionate to the ecstatic pleasure experienced by the character.
After the jump, we take a look at ten other orgasms in movies that make us completely uncomfortable.
10. Faye Dunaway’s Quick Climax in Network (1976)
Very amusing and very integral to the portrayal of Faye Dunaway’s cold television producer, this is probably the only scene on this list we’re okay with watching again — though we’ll still cringe every time, and we’ll always be surprised at how quickly Dunaway comes. No matter how many times we see the film, the orgasm arrives suddenly and disappointingly. We’re not sure who we feel worse for, Dunaway’s character or her lover in the scene (played by William Holden). Unlike the rest of the scenes below, this is an effective moment in a great film, but we’ve included it because of how horrible it makes us feel.
9. Kim Cattrall’s Howl in Porky’s (1982)
There’s a reason Kim Cattrall’s character is nicknamed “Lassie,” and it’s not because she looks like a dog. Rather, it’s due to the sounds she makes during sex. As funny as it is at first, Cattrall’s orgasmic howl is pretty unbelievable. And even if you accept that a woman would make such noises, you have to admit that it’s obnoxious and a complete turn off. Ultimately, the gag plays out too long and becomes more annoying than hilarious.
8. Caller Orgasms on the Radio in Private Parts (1997)
Part of what makes radio so interesting is that you can’t see what’s actually going on. So, if a woman calls up The Howard Stern Show and proceeds to have an orgasm over the air, you just have to use your imagination and accept that she’s really getting off by sitting on a stereo speaker. As depicted in this movie, the incident loses all that mystery by showing a hot woman (played by Theresa Lynn) legitimately straddling a vibrating speaker. As if that weren’t enough, though, the scene goes so far as to have the woman partially strip off her clothes, leaving nothing at all to be left to our imagination.
7. Keri Lynn Pratt Falls Off the Horse in Cruel Intentions 2: Manchester Prep (2000)
In this over-extended gag the old joke about why girls love horses is visualized, as Amy Adams instructs Keri Lynn Pratt to basically masturbate while on horseback. Somehow not only is the naïve young rider unaware of what’s going on, none of the grown-ups in the scene, including a horse caretaker, appear to be bothered with the gross and inappropriate lesson, either.
6. Jennifer Aniston is Touched by the Hand of God in Bruce Almighty (2003)
This scene would get more credit if it weren’t a complete rehash of a more tasteful moment from 1981’s Modern Problems. Still, there’s something disturbing to us about a woman being given an orgasm through such paranormal means. Even if she is the wife of the person doing the magic. It reminds us a bit of the rape scene from Hollow Man, which itself causes us to rethink super-powered shenanigans from seemingly innocent movies like School Spirit and Zapped!
5. Eric Bana Flashes Back in Munich (2005)
This sequence was likely meant to be shocking, but in a different way from how most of us experienced it. The real shock was that Steven Spielberg would actually employ something so cliché as a sex scene intercut with a violent flashback montage. The sequence could have been somewhat effective, though, if it weren’t for Eric Bana’s frightening expression when he orgasms.
4. Elizabeth Berkeley Flaps About in a Pool in Showgirls (1995)
In its entirety, this is considered one of the worst sex scenes of all time. A lot of the offense, though, has to do with Elizabeth Berkeley’s impersonation of a dying fish while supposedly climaxing. In a way, it could be the most entertaining orgasm listed here, but only if you’re able to laugh at it. Unfortunately, we’re not of the group that finds this movie to be humorous, and we hope to never have to watch Berkeley writhing under that fountain of water ever again. It seriously hurts us all over just thinking about it.
3. Shannyn Sossamon Gets Off Without Being Touched in 40 Days and 40 Nights (2002)
Unless Josh Hartnett’s character has God-like powers, we don’t believe he could bring Shannyn Sossamon to orgasm without touching her. Even with the flowers and the blowing — none of which should be permitted during his holy abstinence anyway. Maybe there’s something going on down there that the camera isn’t showing us (it’s on her face during the actual climax)? It’s okay if she’s finishing the job herself, but for the movie to imply otherwise is too deceiving.
2. Adam Campbell Forgettably Fakes It in Date Movie (2006)
After two decades of When Harry Met Sally references and parodies, it’s surprising that the guys behind the “Movie” spoofs would even bother with that iconic scene. But they went there, and it was extremely disappointing. 18 years later and the best they’ve got is an actor basically just impersonating Meg Ryan? It doesn’t help that we don’t like the original scene either (see #1), but then again that should make us more appreciate it being made fun of. Unfortunately, we don’t have any respect for this sorry scene. At least the Meg Ryan orgasm was a somewhat fresh and clever idea at the time.
1. Meg Ryan Famously Fakes It in When Harry Met Sally… (1989)
Others may vote this iconic scene as having the greatest orgasm in film history, but we’re not fans in the slightest. And it has nothing to do with the way it reminds men that women unfortunately fake it. Nor does it really have much to do with how it’s been overplayed to death over the last 20 years. Basically, we never found it funny or believable in the first place. Meg Ryan is just way too theatrical, not to mention publicly humiliating, and if we were Billy Crystal, we probably would have just walked out on her forever right then and there. We definitely didn’t want what he was having.