What You Need To Know:
The second half of HOOKING UP is devoted to Darla recognizing her sex addiction, getting help and overcoming it. It becomes more serious and is surprisingly moving. As a result, the movie has a light moral worldview promoting 12-step sex addiction programs and implicitly attacking the feminist worldview that Darla’s misguided mother taught her about sexual “liberation.” Despite its positive ending, HOOKING UP contains frequent foul language, and the first half is filled with lewd, promiscuous behavior, so it’s ultimately unacceptable.
HOOKING UP is a raunchy comedy about a promiscuous female sex columnist who gets fired and uses a man suffering from testicular cancer to do a new series of columns featuring him behind his back to get back her job. The second half of HOOKING UP is devoted to the woman writer finally recognizing and coming to terms with her sex addiction, getting help for it, and overcoming it. However, the movie contains constant foul language and the first half is filled with lewd, promiscuous behavior, so it’s excessive and ultimately unacceptable.
The movie opens up with Darla, a white female sex columnist for a magazine in Atlanta, having a rendezvous with some man in his office in some kind of high school or university building. As she exits the office, enters a hallway and starts to light up a cigarette, she runs into Bailey, a tall black man. Bailey reminds Darla that they’ve had non-smoking laws for buildings for 10 years, but Darla ignores him. He tries to strike up a conversation, but she’s not interested.
It turns out that Bailey is a 30-year-old testicular cancer survivor and is headed toward his group session with other cancer survivors. Meanwhile, Darla goes to her court-ordered sex addiction group meeting. When she gets there, she tries to seduce one of the older men there and ignores a black woman who’s angered by Darla’s behavior. When the leader of the group session appears, it’s none other than the man with whom Darla just fornicated in his office. This turn of events just makes Darla even more skeptical and hostile toward sex addiction therapy. She tries to get the man to lie and sign her court paper saying she attended the session, but he refuses. Darla makes some more sarcastic remarks and just leaves anyway.
Cut to Darla getting fired from her magazine job because her boss, Tanya, caught her on a work security camera while fornicating with the magazine’s young male black intern. She fires the intern too, even when he reminds her that he doesn’t get paid because he’s just an intern. At about the same time, Bailey has a one-year check up with his oncologist, who tells him there’s a small lump in his right testicle, and it also will have to be removed. Bailey doesn’t tell his mother about the bad news when she calls him and tells him she and his father hope to see him and his girlfriend, Liz, in Dallas in a couple weeks when Liz attends a friend’s wedding. Bailey doesn’t tell his mother that Liz just recently broke up with him.
Bailey gets drunk after the phone call. In a funny scene, he mistakenly shows up drunk in Darla’s next sex addiction group meeting instead of the cancer survivor’s session. Darla decides to leave the class and take Bailey out to a restaurant bar to find out more about him. She learns about his new cancer diagnosis, and he learns about her promiscuous life style. She doesn’t tell him she just got fired from her sex columnist job. She proposes to him that he join her on a road trip around the country to visit all the places where she’s had sexual relations and one-night stands with some man. They should recreate her sexual escapades in those places, she says. Consider it a last hurrah before the surgeon cuts off his other testicle, Darla says. Bailey at first declines, but then he agrees, on one condition – that they make a stop at his parents place in Dallas.
Darla reluctantly agrees, but, without his knowledge, she later convinces her boss to let her do a series of sex columns about the trip Bailey and she are taking. The stories will include an account of Bailey dealing with his cancer diagnosis during the trip. Tanya promises she will rehire Darla if the stories are good, and she turns in daily reports.
The day to start the road trip arrives. Against Bailey’s objections, Darla says they have to take her clunky car on the trip. Meanwhile, Bailey is surprised at the many X’s on the national map where Darla says she’s had anonymous sex with someone.
Several scenes, including a montage, show Darla and Bailey fornicating their way across the country. Halfway through the movie, however, a series of comical and dramatic twists force Darla to recognize that maybe she does have a sex addiction problem. One of those twists include Darla and Bailey getting to Dallas and visiting Bailey’s overbearing, judgmental parents. They lie and tell Bailey’s parents that Darla is his new girlfriend and that they met in the cancer survivor classes because Darla had breast cancer and had her breasts replaced with implants. Another twist involves Darla, without Bailey, visiting her mother one morning. Darla discovers her mother just had a one night stand with a man named Bill, who’s having breakfast the next morning with Darla’s mother. Darla realizes her mother is a sex addict, just like she is.
The visit with Bailey’s parents, and an encounter with Liz, Bailey’s ex-girlfriend, brings Bailey and Darla closer together. However, things take a turn for the worse when Bailey discovers the secret sex columns Darla’s been writing online about him and her. What will happen next? Will Bailey tell Liz and his parents about his new diagnosis? Will Darla start trying to fix her own sex addiction?
The second half of HOOKING UP turns out be more serious, more dramatic and surprisingly moving. It’s devoted to Darla finally recognizing and coming to terms with her own sex addiction, getting help for it, and overcoming it. In recounting that journey, the scenes with Darla’s mother are particularly interesting and effective. The movie reveals that Darla learned her promiscuous behavior from her feminist mother, who taught Darla to be a “liberated” woman. Darla confronts her mother, suggesting that maybe both of them need to get help. However, her mother reminds Darla that she always taught her that being a liberated feminist woman means that women must treat sex just like men treat it, hopping in and out of bed whenever they desire, so they can find sexual fulfilment. Though this argument causes a little rift between them, it does seem to give her mother and Darla something to consider, and the last scene between them in the movie ends on a loving note.
This encounter between Darla and her mother seems to implicitly and poignantly rebuke the radical, evil feminist (and anti-male) notion that women can “liberate” themselves by engaging in promiscuous behavior just like “most” men do. The turnaround that occurs in Darla’s mother and especially Darla after this scene seems to implicitly promote the Christian, biblical, moral, and traditional values about male and female relationships that American society used to fully endorse before the “Sexual Revolution.” Although the Sexual Revolution came to a climax in the late 1960s, it actually seems to have begun in earnest in the late 1940s and early 1950s with the pseudo-scientific, deceitful and abhorrent Kinsey Report on sex in America and the beginning of the beatnik generation in the nation. Partly a literary movement, the beatnik generation was also a social, cultural movement exploring Eastern religions, opposing economic and capitalist “materialism,” flirting with drug experimentation, and promoting extramarital sex, sexual exploration and promiscuity, including homosexuality and bisexuality. The beatnik generation became more popular in the 1950s, which also saw the overturning of many anti-pornography laws and regulations and the invention of the birth control pill. In the 1960s, elements of the beatnik generation became part of the hippie and counter-culture movement as well as aspects of the civil rights movement, “New Left” politics, the budding “feminist” movement, and the antiwar movement against the Vietnam War and nuclear weapons. All of these things had strong roots in godless, pseudo-scientific Marxist, communist, leftist, and atheist social theory. Thus, when Darla starts to recognize her sex addiction and question her promiscuous lifestyle, and her troubled mother discusses what it means to be a “liberated” woman, it puts a significant, though admittedly small, dent into the “Sexual Revolution” and the radical social and feminist theories on which it is built.
The second half of HOOKING UP also shows Bailey starting to recognize and coming to terms with his unhealthy obsession with his own masculine identity because of his testicular cancer and his upcoming surgery. He also comes to terms with his feelings toward his parents and toward his ex-girlfriend.
Despite its positive ending, however, HOOKING UP has lots of strong foul language, including many “f” words and some offensive profanities. Also, the first half contains excessive, explicit sexual behavior and brief explicit nudity. Ultimately, therefore, media-wise viewers will find HOOKING UP excessive and unacceptable.