Sex Appeal Plot Synopsis
Hulu’s Sex Appeal takes teen drama tropes and turns them on their head to create an unconventional romance and coming-of-age movie.
Avery (Mika Abdalla) is essentially perfect in all areas but one. She has a stellar record to get herself into MIT next year, but she doesn’t exactly know how to let loose and have fun.
When her boyfriend says he wants them to have sex, she knows she’ll have to have a plan–just like with everything else in her life.
Enlisting her best friend Larson (Jake Short) to help her with “sex stuff,” Avery decides she can kill two birds with one stone. Their sexual experiments will not only to help Avery prepare for her first time, but will also serve as research for an app she’s developing called “Sex Appeal.”
Avery makes a lot of progress on her app for a STEM contest, but she may have signed up for more than she bargained for with Larson. What happens when foreplay leads to feelings?
What was Avery’s STEM Assignment?
Every year, Avery takes home the top prize at STEMcon, a convention where the brightest STEM students pitch their research projects in a competition. It’s also where Avery met her long-distance boyfriend, Casper.
This year, the contest is to develop an app that solves a problem in the contestants’ personal lives. Avery can’t think of anything at first. Solving global warming sounds more feasible than anything to do with her personal life. When she remembers Casper’s wish to have sex, however, she knows what to do.
Avery decides to create an app titled “Sex Appeal.” By cultivating information from the internet, her classmates, and especially her personal research with Larson, Avery will design software that can help anyone have objectively good sex–at least, that’s the hope.
What is Avery’s background with Larson?
Avery enlists Larson’s help with her project because of their personal history. Larson isn’t just her best friend; he used to be her research assistant.
Since Avery was a little girl, she’s tested many hypotheses and worked on several projects with Larson. That all stopped when they were 14 and Larson tried to kiss her. Since then, they’ve been friends and nothing more.
For those three years, Larson has tried to move on. But their work on Avery’s app threatens to change everything.
Does Avery’s app for STEMcon work?
After several sessions with Larson (from kissing to hand jobs) Avery finalizes “Sex Appeal.” She takes it with her to STEMcon, where she and Casper meet up to have sex.
The app talks them through consent, foreplay, and intercourse. Despite all the research Avery put in to make the moment perfect, she’s disappointed to find the sex to be awkward and unfulfilling.
When she later steps up to give her presentation on “Sex Appeal,” she freezes. How can she sell something that didn’t work? So Avery ends up withdrawing, and Casper wins the competition with his presentation.
Does Avery admit her feelings to Larson?
When Avery returns home, Larson admits to her that he has liked her for a long time. He accuses her of playing with his feelings.
Initially, Avery doesn’t understand. Because everything they did was consensual, she doesn’t think she was in the wrong. But after ruminating on what Larson said, she realizes not only has she strung Larson along; she loves him.
She later apologizes to him and tells him this, but he says it’s too late. They’ve made too many mistakes, and they are heading in different directions in life.
How does Sex Appeal end?
Avery may not get the guy, but she does learn a lot of things about herself and relationships in general. After several pep talks, she realizes that friendships take practice, just like sex does. Relationships are always changing and growing, and she will even find new ones and be able to make a fresh start, having learned valuable lessons.
Like many teen dramas before it, Sex Appeal ends with a prom scene. Avery convinced a girl named Lyssa to ask Larson to prom, knowing he liked her. As Larson dances with Lyssa, Avery dances with her friends. They smile at each other from across the room, content to be taking their own separate paths.
Read More: Sex Appeal Movie Review
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