The Sessions is an interesting movie, especially if you go into it blind. John Hawkes plays a man in his late thirties who is unable to move every muscle in his body except for his head because of Polio. It is set in 1988 and he is known as someone who doesn’t let his handicaps prohibit him from enjoying his life to the fullest.
He writes poems and manages to get writing assignments from the local newspaper. He gets through college despite spending most of the time on a gurney and iron lung to help him breathe. But one aspect of his life that he yearns for is making love.
He relays these thoughts with the new priest, played by William H. Macy. The two talk about a lot of things that go against the teachings of the church but the priest can’t help but agree with Hawkes’ reasoning. Their discussions lead to Hawkes hiring Helen Hunt, a professional sex surrogate.
Despite his condition, Hunt guides Hawkes through various exercises that will prepare him for intercourse. Through their sessions, both experience physical and mental connection. The Halfway through the movie it reaches its climax and it wraps up nicely.
Helen Hunt has full frontal nudity for The Sessions. She does so during therapy chats with Hawkes in hotel rooms. But during the second half of the movie, it turns into a series of cliff notes and bullet points.
The Sessions is based on a true story. Hawkes’ character ends up living eleven more years after the events featured in the movie. Hawkes manages to do so much with so little material. Helen Hunt’s mannerisms place the viewers in her own state of mind when dealing with the emotions regarding her client.
The Sessions smartly pokes fun at the situation. The cast members make the movie interesting despite the flaws in the script in the latter stages of the movie.