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DOIN' IT (2024)

Release Date: 03/12/24 [Festival Run]
Genre: Comedy.

[Seen at SXSW Film Festival 2024]

"A Indian American virgin who gets a job teaching high school sex ed." 


After a life altering moment at a talent show, Maya (Lilly Singh) becomes hesitant about opening herself up to sexual experiences, focusing purely on her family and career. By happenstance, she winds up teaching a Sex Ed course at a local high school - even though she is highly unqualified for the position. As she begins teaching, she starts to open herself up to new experiences and becomes a mentor to her class of sexually curious pupils. 


Doin’ It is courageous enough to ride the line between accessing a heavy amount of heart and obscenity, creating a topical raunchy comedy in the process. It’s a feature that honors sex positivity in nearly every aspect. The feature couldn’t have delivered the level of quality it has without Lilly Singh’s powerful presence at the lead. 


It’s ridiculously funny, while being oftentimes extremely crude, yet relatable. Director Sara Zandieh co-wrote the feature with Neel Patel and star, Lilly Singh and it’s a story that embraces the reality and awkwardness of sex education in our society. It’s a story about having the option to understand the sexual world and not be limited to bare minimum knowledge - knowledge that may come from something unrealistic, such as pornography. 


Singh surrounds herself with a rockstar cast who are able to deliver their own personal trauma to their roles, showing that no one is perfect in this world. Fellow educator, Alex (Trevor Salter) is a delightful love interest who’s easy to root for; this romantic possibility even garners an audience reaction when there’s a feasible chance of the two getting together. Maya’s best friend as played by the terrific Sabrina Jalees is the extreme version of comedic relief, attempting to open Maya's eyes to her sexuality through hilarious hijinks. When Jalees isn't around, Stephanie Beatriz' friendly school colleague is a lesser extension of a similar comedic impact. The film even has a traditional cocky villain, set out to spoil our hero’s plot to better educate the children she’s teaching. 


There’s a few character decisions that come across as ultimately moot in terms of the definitive picture. Where these small character moments may lend to fulfilling the message, such as the flawed relationship between Maya and her mom, aspects of their relationship feel incomplete by the time the credits roll. The same notion can be said for several of the students Maya teaches. The message remains intact and the actions / dialogue can be extremely amusing, but they can also feel disconnected from the rest of the story. These scripting flaws drag the film away from the title of a perfect coming-of-age extension to the genre, instead leaving a bit more room for expansion. 


Nevertheless, Doin’ It is an impressively made comedy that understands how to equally relate to its audience while making them squirm at its sincere absurdity. Not since Joy Ride has there been a raunchy comedy executed to this level, tackling a broad view of sexuality while relaying a simultaneous sincere narrative about culture. 


It’s a comedy that should be welcomed by anyone who doesn’t mind a bit of raunch in their humor. It’s at times gross, shocking, and embarrassing, but at the same time - real.

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