Vol. 15, No. 20 – June 29 – July 12, 2022 – Movie Review

Streaming Spotlight by Cindy Summers

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande – Hulu Originals

3 out of 4 palm trees

In Good Luck to You, Leo Grande, Nancy Stokes (Emma Thompson) was a retired religious education teacher that never experienced an orgasm, having spent her life faking them for her husband during the passionless, predictable sex they had for 31 years. Her husband, who died two years prior, had been the only man she had ever had sex with so she decided to hire a compassionate sex worker named Leo Grande (Daryl McCormack), who gently worked to disarm her insecurities about sex and her own physical appearance.

During their first meeting, Nancy was very apprehensive spending most of the time asking Leo questions about his life and work, though they did eventually end up in bed together. A week later Nancy booked Leo for a second time with a bucket list of sexual acts that she wanted to do having never experienced. Her past as a teacher was why she used a list, giving her discomfort a matter of structure and also having a sense of accomplishment being able to “check things off her list”.

Leo tried to help Nancy understand that her reservations weren’t about sex in general, rather that she needed to work on letting go from what holds her back and her own judgment. To relax her, Leo put on some music and despite her initial objection got Nancy to start dancing and feeling free in her body. Leo started with a simple massage that relaxed Nancy enough to ask Leo if he would take off his shirt so she could explore the contours of his chiseled physique, and ultimately were able to check one thing off Nancy’s list.

Leo explained he had many different types of clients: one that wanted to just watch TV, another wanted to have quick ten minute sex with no talking at all, one just wanted him to dress up as a cat and ignore him for an hour, another was a woman who couldn’t walk that wanted him to bath her and join her in the bath, and that he never judged any of them. Nancy said he was some kind of sex saint. Feeling more comfortable with him, Nancy shared she had always been ashamed about her body but Leo’s charm and charisma helped her to begin to see herself differently.

During their third meeting, they still spent most of the time talking due to Nancy discomfort, through which they discovered they were both using aliases, not their real names. Nancy asked Leo to reveal his real name and confessed that she actually did some internet sleuthing and knew who he was, which to Leo had crossed his boundaries. It was apparent that Nancy had become attached to Leo due to their intimate conversations, even offering to explain to his mother about his life as a sex worker, which made him angry and leave telling her to never contact him again.

A short time later Nancy requested a fourth meeting at the hotel coffee shop just to talk, which to her surprise Leo did oblige. She thanked Leo for what they shared, telling him she felt more alive and powerful in their month together than she could remember and told Leo she even recommended him discretely to a few friends. She apologize having realized that she became emotionally invested in the situation and also told Leo her real name. All seemed to clear the air between them and reignite their casual friendship gained through their unique situation.

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande is an insightful, compassionate look into sex positivity and to say there’s a big reveal at the end would be an understatement, though not in the way most would assume from the storyline, and actually is extremely heartwarming and triumphant.

Rated: R
Runtime: 1h 37m

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