Hulu’s Good Luck to You, Leo Grande already proved this year that women of a certain age are still deserving of a sexual reawakening—now, Australia’s very cute How to Please a Woman supports that argument with a concept clever enough to make any modern housewife swoon. This is the type of film that should only exist at the behest of female creatives, and as the brainchild of writer/director Renee Webster, it perfectly checks that box. Seasoned character actress Sally Phillips (Bridget Jones’s Diary, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) brings her unique brand of charm and charisma to the central role. Who wouldn’t want to hire a cleaning service that comes complete with an orgasm and a spotless house to boot?
Gina (Phillips) is quietly celebrating her birthday. Her husband gets her a simple card, her daughter FaceTimes in, and, much to her surprise, Gina is also gifted a super-sexy strip tease right at her front door! One of Gina’s friends from the gym has apparently hired the sexy man with the “four-pack” to do “anything” Gina requests for two straight hours. Gina gets the smart decision to have him work on her floors and clean up around the house. As a cover of “Pony” plays, the man reluctantly does the housework. Eventually, he introduces himself as Tom (Alexander England, Alien: Covenant, Gods of Egypt), who also just so happens to work for a nearly-bankrupt moving company in the throes of being audited by Gina.
With her husband made a senior partner, Gina unfortunately gets fired from her own during a “restructure” that only seems to affect her. Gina updates her resume, but things aren’t looking too hopeful until she gets something of a genius idea. That moving company was on the verge of nonexistence anyway, and she tries to make a deal with her boss to purchase it outright. He commands 10% of the assets, but for now she can simply give him commission. Going before the small crew, Gina makes a proposition to make “Pleased to Move You” into a sexy shirtless company for deep-cleaning your home… and sex!
Tom, who is desperately trying to make money to support his ex girlfriend’s unborn child, quickly agrees to go along with the new company model, whilst his coworkers are a smidge harder to convince. Steve (Erik Thomson), an older gentlemen, wants only to answer the phones and deal with the paperwork logisitics. For a while, it takes some fine-tuning to tweak the correct level of sexual pleasure and home cleanliness for the constantly-growing client list. Gina’s husband seems completely done with her sexually, as she becomes drawn to Steve. Gina’s relationship with her husband may not survive with Steve in the her crosshairs.
How to Please a Woman will not win any originality awards, but it is a very charming and cute rom-com with an injection of teasing eroticism. Semi-sexy strip teases and several laugh-out-loud moments are on the agenda. Sally Phillips is a great lead actress, and takes it like a champ as they make retirement and old-age jokes—I personally loved how the message of the film says that at any age, a woman can still be loved and desired.
How to Please a Woman teaches the art of the female orgasm to limited release everywhere on Friday, July 22nd before cumming to streaming on July 29th. It screened at 2022’s Bentonville Film Festival.
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