Director Bryan Poyser’s “Love & Air Sex” is a romantic comedy centered around the Air Sex World Championship held in Austin, Texas. Before we go on, two things must be established: the first being that there is such a thing called “air sex”, which consists of people simulating sexual activities in front of an audience (think of it as air guitar with a twist). The second, is that despite its novelty-title and the Austinite weirdness it often indulges itself with, “Love & Air Sex” is a truly wonderful film.
The premise is simple: “it” couple Cathy (Ashley Bell) and Stan (Michael Stahl-David) break up after she moves to NYC to go to med school and he attempts to have a film career in Los Angeles. Despite how much they care for each other they stop communicating until one weekend, Stan learns that Cathy will be in Austin and decides to fly there himself to see if they can rekindle their love. Once they’re in Austin, they spend the entire movie apart from each other, as their friends Jeff (Zach Cregger) and Kara (Sara Paxton) do their best to keep them away from unleashing an emotional Chernobyl.
Jeff and Kara were an item themselves and are in the middle of a horrific breakup which he exorcises through air sex (his stage name is “Tyrannosaurus Sex”) while she engages in casual sex with losers while poking fun at her ex-boyfriend’s shortcomings in the genital department. “Love & Air Sex” tricks us into believing it will be another run of the mill rom-com with potty-mouthed millennials who confuse pop culture references with profundity but at its center we find a story with extremely likable characters and something modern rom-coms have decided is dangerous: sincerity.
The lovely screenplay evokes the excitement of finding new people you can’t get enough of while trying to heal your broken heart (the delightfully quirky Addison Timlin and the lovable Justin Arnold play on-the-rebound love interests for the leads) and perhaps as intended allows the strangeness of Austin to become yet another character in the film, the one which reminds the characters and audience that when it comes to love and relationships there are truly no rights or wrongs. Also, can someone give Poyser, Bell and Stahl-David a TV show already? OK, thanks.