Relax...It’s Just Sex

Director: P. J. Castellaneta
Screenwriters: P. J. Castellaneta

Institute History

  • 1998 Sundance Film Festival


Infused with some of the funniest and most honest writing about sexual and romantic relationships within a group of friends, Relax . . .It’s Just Sex unflinchingly tackles potent issues surrounding gay and straight lifestyles. At the center of this very close-knit group of thirty-somethings is the lovelorn Vincey, a gay playwright. He complains to Tara, the sexy resident den mother, about the disparaging lack of romance in his life. She’s preoccupied with trying to get pregnant with her boyfriend Gus, who’s not sure he’s ready to settle down. Longtime lesbian couple Sarina and Megan are in the midst of a breakup following Megan’s return from a business trip, where she had an affair with Sarina’s second cousin, Jared. Vincey brings Buzz, an outspoken artist new to the group, to a dinner party, where Gus’s brother, C.J., reveals that he’s HIV positive. Buzz launches into a tirade of controversial opinions about AIDS, setting off a heated discussion. Before long, it’s C.J. and Buzz who have begun a relationship, while Vincey is still without romance.

Relax . . .It’s Just Sex sets itself apart with its realistic, yet playful, portrayal of both gay and straight relationships. Breaking boundaries with previously taboo subjects, Castellaneta’s second feature combines naturalistic dialogue with alternating hilarious and poignant scenes. The intelligent characters are astutely portrayed by the fabulous ensemble cast. The wildly entertaining Relax . . .It’s Just Sex is above all about the modern-day trials and tribulations of sex and love.

P.J. Castellaneta, Director
P.J. Castellaneta began his
feature film career by writing, directing, producing, and editing Together Alone. The film went on to tremendous artistic success on the film festival circuit, winning a Silver Teddy at the Berlin Film Festival and awards for best feature at the San Francisco and Los Angeles festivals. In addition, Together Alone was in demand at virtually every gay and lesbian film festival throughout the world.

— Lisa Viola

Screening Details

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