The Silliness of Men: Our Review of ‘No Men Beyond This Point’

Posted in Movies, Theatrical by - April 25, 2016
The Silliness of Men: Our Review of ‘No Men Beyond This Point’

Imagine a world where there are no men in power. Imagine a world where in fact men haven’t been born for decades, where women are in charge, reproduce asexually, and gone are militaries and wars and really any need for the less fair of the species.

Okay, come on back to reality. Sorry.

At least for some ninety minutes you can venture into that curiously blissful existence in No Men Beyond This Point, a smart and wry mockumentary envisioning such an idyllic future.

Well, not for the men, but they had their chance.

From writer and director Mark Sawers (a man), some switch in human’s evolutionary path has seen women procreate without the need of men, spawning only women, and slowly taking control of national governments while the male population dwindles. While this faux-doc chronicles the anomaly as it began in the sixties, and the various reactions that ensued, it tries to stay personal too, focusing on a 37-year-old named Andrew (Patrick Gilmore), who is the youngest man in the world by decades, and working as a nanny for a family of women.

The oscillation between the grand and the intimate helps keep No Men from being just a funny little skit, one in which Men’s Rights Activists are shown in all their comic absurdity and powerlessness. Women united, decided to talk instead of fight, ended the armed forces, tended to the health and safety of its citizens, and sent men to live in rather nice sanctuaries by themselves to live out the rest of their lives in peace.

At once silly and biting, No Men is an exceedingly clever, a subtly viscous condemnation of male cockiness, possession, and entitlement, while also being ridiculous, yet grounded in its ridiculousness. This duality is both necessary and well-executed; it’s not that the film is denouncing all men, it’s saying what a world it would be if we removed some of men’s prevailing mentalities.

That’s because of the main personal story, that of a platonic female couple (women partner up in this world for practical purposes), Terra and Iris, and Andrew, who starts to catch the eye of Terra. Theirs is a possible romance that no longer exists in the world, and is in fact shunned, so half of No Men becomes a forbidden love story, which works fine, but not as great as the general conceit.

Maybe you start to see the female government as going off the rails too, being extreme with their handling of men; strangely there are female groups in this world that shun sexuality and discovery. So there are problems. And with Terra and Andrew fighting back, No Men backs off its potent meaning a bit, while still consistently sharp and pretty hilarious.

 

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Anthony is a lover of a good story in any form, on any subject. Tirelessly navigating filmdom, he is equal parts an unbridled idealist and stubborn curmudgeon, trying to strike a balance between head and heart when it comes to pop culture. He pens stories about television, music, the environment, lifestyles, and all things noteworthy and peculiar.