Good luck Leo Grande: an ode to liberation, sex and self-love

Many times stability does not imply happiness. Imagine being married for three decades to someone with whom you built a home with all possible comforts, but even so, in this safe space, in those routine and even empty habits, something essential is missing: the spark. Or the synonym of it: the pleasure…yes, pleasure no more and no less! Also enjoyment, enjoyment, everything that makes us feel alive in some way. For years, women were educated to be what was considered a “lady.” They reached a certain age and it was already a must of those times, “search” for a man with whom they could form a family.

By own wish? Most of the time not, but that didn’t matter too much anyway. It was done because society demanded it that way and that was enough. Women of multiple generations had to give up their desires… desires to live the life they really wanted to become “ladies of the house” with the sole function of pleasing, first, their husbands and then their children. And so basically dedicate themselves to the tasks called “care” leaving aside completely in almost all aspects… and one could well be the sexual. Staying by a person’s side “until death do us part” was no joke and deciding to become the “black sheep” to break with this paradigm was not that simple and not everyone “risked”.

Let’s say something similar happened to Nancy. Perhaps her example is more contemporary. She managed to pursue a career and remain financially independent of her husband’s finances, to whom she was married for 31 years. However, in those years she was practically never happy, but she stayed for safety? For fear? It doesn’t matter, since now two years after the death of her husband, Nancy is willing to do everything that she never allowed herself to enjoy while she was with him, for example, in sex… but who is Nancy? ? Nancy Stokes is the protagonist of Good Luck Big Leoa film directed by sophie hyde and with script Katy Brand which is masterfully starred by emma thompson.

In this film, this 60-year-old woman wants to experience what she could not do alone or with her husband. Thus, through an app, she hires a young sex worker named Big Leointerpreted by Daryl McCormack, who is prepared to fulfill all her fantasies as and when she wants. In this way, the tape begins with Nancy waiting for him in a hotel room that seems to be located in England. She seems nervous and not entirely sure what she wants to “encourage” to do, but she still stays until finally the sophisticated and sweet Leo knocks on her door.

That is the beginning of a set of simple but profound sequences and dialogues that logically reflect on sex, desire, but also on prejudice, guilt and shame. Yes, shame is the great topic of this British film. As the narrative plot unfolds, which takes place practically alone in that room, it is revealed how this feeling has always been immersed in Nancy’s life. She wants to know-SE, feel-SE and discover her body like never before. But the blockage, the self-judgment not only of her fantasies but also of her figure and her appearance play a fundamental role in the first half of the film.

And here the role of Leo matters. But not because he poses as the “savior man” that is represented in the princes and princesses movies of yesteryear where the man came to save the woman from misfortune. No, Leo, he comes across as a sensitive young man who allows Nancy to loosen up. Undoubtedly, the figure of Leo Grande poses or makes flesh a true masculine deconstruction. Thus, the sexologist herself had considered it cecilia ce at the presentation of the film in Buenos Aires. “Raise a new man”, he held at the time. And he was right. Leo moves with ease promoting communication with his partner. Thanks to this way of being, he builds a warm atmosphere that allows Nancy to open up and tell him everything that has happened.

Secondly, Good luck, Big Leo. He has the ability to question people of any gender and age. Because, yes, one of the things that Nancy must face is the modesty of not only confessing to Leo that she has never had an orgasm, but also that she is ashamed to engage sexually at her age, as if this were only a people thing. less than 30 years old. But that thought is not a coincidence or exclusive to this fictional character. For years, a socio-cultural imaginary has been built around sex to the point of forming the belief that it is only a matter of young people. So, those who are interested in this after a certain age are the well-known “libidinous or dirty old men.” The film also manages to break with that. Sex is so important in a person’s life whether they are 20, 40 or 70.

It must be said that the tape has that ability to kick the board and move the pieces arranged in the minds of various audiences. It is that the insecurities and taboos that Nancy faces are also experienced by people of other generations today, being protagonists of empty relationships and without any sexual connection, often the product of not knowing what we really want. That disconnection, that mistrust of the other, sometimes stems precisely from the lack of comprehensive sexual education, the lack of knowledge and personal experimentation prior to contact with the other. How is that other person going to know what you like if you don’t know?

The film takes a great and interesting journey through the lives of the two characters, while creating an intimate and safe space. Therefore, dialogue and consent are the necessary factors for both to end up feeling comfortable and, ultimately, to transform completely.

Good luck, Big Leo. it is a kind of ode to liberation and the eradication of taboos and prejudices, but above all it is a hymn to self-love. Perhaps one of her best scenes is the one that Emma Thompson “spoiled” in the special edition of the Berlin Film Festival of this 2022. There he said that the sequence in which he looks completely naked in the mirror is “one of the most complex of his entire career” because it shook his life and his thoughts beyond the actress. “Women have been made to hate our bodies because all the time they show us toned and worked bodies”, analyzed in that same speech. And, yes, still today (although not like a few years ago) social networks and advertising do nothing more than build hegemonic stereotypes of beauty that do not represent the millions and millions of women in the world.

The film invites us to celebrate our body the way it is and to enjoy it at any time, with whomever and at any age. While it may sound cliché, this film is a must see. In just 97 minutes, Good luck, Big Leo. It frees us from unjustified shame and archaic schemes that stain our lives with meaningless concerns and reasons. It invites us to stop paying attention to “what they will say” and to enjoy sex in the most natural way possible.

In addition, what to say about the performances of its protagonists Thompson Y McCormack, a virtually unknown 29-year-old Irish actor who, with this performance, is preparing for a solid career in film. The chemistry between the two actors is undeniable and their symbiosis is essential for the genius of the script, which has some humorous and ironic gags, to really be credible.

Good Luck Big Leo Already can be seen in theaters in Argentina. In the meantime in Spain its premiere is expected for the beginning of September.

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