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across the streaming-verse

Best of Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu Streaming: Sex Comedies

This weekend, as you search for a movie to watch, you can either see Sex Tape or pick one of approximately 14 billion options available on streaming over a variety of services, be it Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, On Demand, or other sites. Every Friday, Vulture tries to make life easier by narrowing it down to a handful of heartily recommended options. This week, a quintessential ’80s sex romp, two modern incarnations, and a couple of the stranger extensions of an adolescence-defining genre.

Private Resort (Stream on Hulu, Rent on iTunes, Vudu, Amazon)
After Freddy geysered his guts out in Nightmare on Elm Street, but before his cruising high school as an undercover cop in 21 Jump Street, a 22-year-old Johnny Depp smooth-talked his way through this doofy, bikini-filled comedy straight out of 1985. Like so many movies dumped into the '80s (and apparently Hulu too — it's the streaming world's answer to Skinemax), the so-bad-it's-good romp is an excuse to show off Depp's gluteal region and an array of bare-chested model types. There's a heist plot to keep things moving; While on the hunt for poolside hot chicks, Jack (Depp) and Ben (future Northern Exposure star Rob Morrow) stumble into a jewel heist by the hair-obsessed thief known as the Maestro (Hector Elizondo). Andrew Dice Clay also shows up. It's weird. Good weird.

Sex Drive (Stream on Netflix, Rent on iTunesVuduAmazonXboxTarget Ticket)
Raunchy sex comedies are hard to come by in the current post-Apatow, highbrow/lowbrow comedic era. “Hard R” translates to foul-languaged bliss, while “crass” is a death sentence to the nearest Walmart's discount rack (hi, American Pie: Book of Love!). In 2008's Sex Drive, director Sean Anders tries reclaims the latter in the name of sophomoric lampoonery. Watching a newly engaged woman slip on her stepson's dampened masturbation towel is crass. Strapping a giant brown dildo to a Mexican doughnut costume and sending it into a busy mall is crass. The mere mention of a “rolling brownout” is crass. Andres's simple plot — virgin boy forges online relationship with girl, road-trips to meet her — snowballs vulgarity, and just when you think it's going to implode, actor Josh Zuckerman steps up his Kevin Arnold–like charm. Sex Drive is the rare sex comedy that orchestrates gross-out gags instead of piling them all.

Zapped! (Stream on Netflix, Amazon Prime)
A loose spoof of Stephen King's Carrie, Zapped! swaps a tormented high-school female for a concupiscent science geek. When a freak accident imbues Barney (Scott Baio) with telekinetic powers, he makes sure to take PG-rated revenge against his bullies, but he also finds time to unclasp the bras of the school's most attractive girls. Priorities. The 1982 film hits all the soft-core beats of a teen sex comedy, including a rather steamy lovemaking session that ends with Baio lighting up a postcoital cigarette. The grand finale lifts directly from Carrie: Instead of blowing his classmates away in a fury of telekinetic mayhem, Barney strips them all naked. Everyone wins!

The Girl Next Door (Rent on iTunesVuduAmazonXbox)
Updating Risky Business for the online porn generation, Let's Be Cops director Luke Greenfield's heartfelt sex comedy avoids the moment one assumes the movie is all about — and it's all the better for it. When Matt (Emile Hirsch) learns that his new neighbor Danielle (Elisha Cuthbert) is a porn star, the horndog lightbulb goes off in his head. But Girl Next Door is about a different kind of wish fulfillment. The obligatory Cuthbert-bares-all scene never happens (merely shots of tantalizing sideboob more damning of our hero's gaze than anything). Instead, it's a movie about consideration, courtship, and romantic possibilities. Plus, Timothy Olyphant as a skeezy porn producer — the role of his career.

Cavegirl (Rent on iTunesAmazonXbox)
Imagine Weird Science, but instead of genetically engineering the perfect woman, the sex-hungry nerd travels back in time through a magical cave and falls head-over-heels in love for a Neanderthal Playboy bunny. You can't imagine that. Watch Cavegirl.