Character actor John Hawkes is often cast as a frightening rustic (Winter's Bone, Martha Marcy May Marlene), but he gives a tender and witty performance here as Mark O'Brien, a writer paralyzed from the neck down who hired a sex surrogate to help him lose his virginity and recounted his experiences in the magazine The Sun. Helen Hunt handles the role of his sex partner with great delicacy, and their scenes together are suitably touching, embarrassing, and funny. Unfortunately, their relationship don't provide enough material for a feature, and writer-director Ben Lewin is forced to bookend it with abbreviated treatments of two romances O'Brien pursued, neither of which approaches the daring or intimacy of the sex therapy. With Adam Arkin, Moon Bloodgood, and William H. Macy as a Catholic priest offering discomfited spiritual counsel to the horny quadriplegic.
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