Bliss

 (240)
6.01 h 43 min1997X-RayR
A newly married happy couple visits a sex therapist to determine why the wife can't achieve an orgasm with her husband. This causes a horrific suppressed memory to emerge and she becomes more and more distant.
Directors
Lance Young
Starring
Craig ShefferSheryl LeeTerence Stamp
Genres
DramaRomanceArthouse
Subtitles
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Supporting actors
Casey SiemaszkoSpalding GrayLeigh Taylor-YoungLois ChilesBlu MankumaMolly ParkerHiro Kanagawa
Producers
Allyn Stewart
Studio
Sony Pictures
Rating
R (Restricted)
Content advisory
Alcohol usefoul languagenuditysexual contentsmoking
Purchase rights
Stream instantly Details
Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
Available to watch on supported devices

Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

240 global ratings

  1. 64% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 13% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 8% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 5% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 11% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

BenReviewed in the United States on June 13, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Open your heart and open it wide
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This film is a revelation (probably over used term for this film). Making love is so much better than having sex. I knew there was some kind of sexual abuse going on with her but I didn't know that he was just as affected by his own personal intimate issues. I was wondering how these two actors were able to work on this intense subject matter coupled with the proper way of making love and having sex and then shutting it down once the film was completed. Usually when two actors have to delve into characters as intense and layered as these were there are lasting repercussions that linger long after the movie is completed. I was curious if they ever made it a go as a couple in real life? In any case, the film was astonishing and I WILL REMEMBER it and never forget just how important the subject matter really is. The acting was superb, the story line typical but very relevant. The 3 leads were extraordinary and will leave a lasting effect on my subconscious for some time. I might re-watch it again. We'll see.
40 people found this helpful
HouyhnhnmReviewed in the United States on July 23, 2020
1.0 out of 5 stars
No surprise that Lance Young had a short career as writer and director
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Lance Young wrote and directed "Bliss." According to IMDb, it's his his only writing or directing credit. He is competent as a director and brilliant at writing and directing tastefully erotic love scenes. But his script should have earned an F in any advanced scriptwriting class. Anybody who put time or money into this project after reading this script was either desperate or stupid.

I think his hope was to write a wrenching psychodrama like "The Three Faces of Eve." But the script has a maddening lack of focus, as if he was trying to write three or more short movies about the same group of characters instead of one coherent work. A lot of the movie is a sex romp about a sex therapist gone rogue, which was considered a funny setup in 1997, when the movie was released. And there's a love story about the troubled woman's husband who will go to any lengths (to the point of absurdity, in my opinion) to try to rescue his wife. And there's a lot of talk devoted to tantric sex, a theme that is abandoned. Another promising subject that is abandoned is how Joseph's motivation may not be to save his wife but to mold her. And Young worked in a diatribe about the horrible effects of women obsessed with their physical appearance, which actually has nothing to do with the wife's problems. And there's a superfluous scene of dancing, but I can forgive that one because it's so nicely photographed, so joyful and with its own kind of gentle eroticism. And then there are the tastefully erotic love scenes, of which only one is borderline gratuitous. Their prominence, however, might suggest that Young's primary goal in the script was to craft a legitimate reason to film beautiful people in tastefully erotic love scenes -- not that he would ever acknowledge such a motivation. It is worth noting that according to IMDb, explicit shots were removed to avoid an NC-17 rating.

A ridiculous coincidence and huge plot holes make this mess of a script even worse.

About the only thing Young got right in the script was the clever naming of the characters. The couple is Joseph and Maria (the Latin and Spanish version of Mary), which reference Jesus' earthly parents--with Joseph as adoptive father. Using Maria instead of Mary suggests "West Side Story," which in turn suggests "Romeo and Juliet." At one point, in a totally unbelievable foray into Elizabethan-era English, Joseph jokingly calls his wife Juliet. The rogue therapist's name is Baltazar (last name, I believe), which in legend was the name of one of the three wise men who brought gifts to the baby Jesus. The rogue therapist as a "wise man" can be taken at face value if you believe in him, or as a bitter joke if you think he's an abuser or a fraud. I also like the movie title, which ironically suggests the marital bliss that is lacking in this marriage.

I suppose Terence Stamp shows some skill as the courtly sex therapist, or maybe he's just playing himself, I don't know. Sheryl Lee does a creditable job with her all-over-the-map character, which does show her versatility. She does an excellent job with a couple of emotional scenes near the end that rise above the general confusion. Craig Sheffer has the hardest acting assignment as the comparatively sane and ordinary person in the triangle. He is a competent straight man but not compelling. But in my view, the best actors, designers, and cinematographers in the world would probably be doomed to mediocrity by this script.
16 people found this helpful
Lauren RoseReviewed in the United States on June 7, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Sensitive and powerful.
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I loved everything about this film. It's a sensitive look at intimacy, something rarely seen. Humor was well placed and the acting was brilliant by every major member of the cast. Sexual abuse of a child is a serious matter and someone finally had the courage to expose some of the manifestations of it. I first saw this over twenty years ago and it's as powerful today.
23 people found this helpful
Thule1Reviewed in the United States on July 16, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Real education for me.
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This movie was Real education for me. I lived for 50 years with a wonderful Lady who had psychological issues I never understood because they were hidden. Once I view BLISS I understood the etology of her problems that impacted our lives, regardless of the lasting true love we shared. She is gone to Heaven now, but at least I understand what was missing. She experienced in real life what the story-line demonstrates about sexual abuse of children and women. Similar things also occur for men.
22 people found this helpful
GiftbearerReviewed in the United States on September 21, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Love Versus Sex
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I wasn't sure at first if I would like this movie but as it turned out the message was much more profound than I expected! I thought it was interesting how much it drew from the principles of energy work. In such a goal oriented society many people never grasp that touch is a powerful form of communication and just how much we convey of our intentions to others through it, not merely as foreplay but as a process. Often the lightest touch is the most healing and giving versus the driving forceful touch of selfishness. One of the greatest lessons in life is that satisfaction doesn't depend upon orgasm, but rather in feeling cared about and treasured. The scene in which the sex therapist asked Maria to dance and then stated that if she "enjoyed the dance that it was enough" illustrated this beautifully.

At one point in the movie I thought the two would break up, but instead by each working on themselves they were able to grow closer together. Both felt less of a need to control the other once they learned to control their own experience.

This movie was very insightful, well-written, and well-acted!
14 people found this helpful
T.A. KnightReviewed in the United States on July 9, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
A Must See Film! BRAVO!
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I never actually heard of this movie before until now browsing the Amazon prime library. Was intrigued by the short synopsis although it barely did the movie any justice. It was erotic but pure. Raw but sensitive. I loved how the husband was willing to set his pride aside and learn how to love his wife intimately which led him to unearth her childhood trauma and to ultimately usher her into healing even it meant giving her space. This movie was so beautiful. Definitely underrated. I really enjoyed all of it. Probably the first movie with multiple sex scenes where I felt like I was learning something other than how to get aroused. As a single woman with my own similar childhood trauma, I would love to experience this kind of intimacy and patience form my future partner/lover and reciprocate. <3
12 people found this helpful
Kimberly R.Reviewed in the United States on January 15, 2015
5.0 out of 5 stars
It changes you.
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This is a film that you will be thinking about long after it's over. It covers the topics of love, sexuality, marriage and sexual abuse in a way that is very rare in American films. It is a very psychologically, emotionally, audibly and visually stimulating story that is very deep and eye opening. People looking for a few cheap sex scenes are going to be disappointed if that's why they wish to see this film. Though it does have strong sex scenes they are based on intimacy and healing and are not lusty and hot. They aren't meant to turn you on in that way. This movie is a beautiful, deep, sad and frightening look at what sexual abuse can do to a person and the people that love them and want to help them. Not a college skin flick with fast paced romps in the hay. This is a serious movie about gently unearthing hidden traumas in order to help one learn and heal. Two thumbs up! A very important gem of a movie. Anyone looking to see a movie that will touch them deeply in ways they may have not experienced before this is it. It changes you.
51 people found this helpful
JulieReviewed in the United States on December 4, 2020
1.0 out of 5 stars
This is awful
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Really dumb story, pretty bad acting too. Spoiler alert: husband learns that his wife is faking it in bed. For some reason, she also has Borderline Personality Disorder and is obsessed with flies (as if you need to have a psychiatric diagnosis in order to have a crappy sex life.) She "can't" have orgasms (e.g. her husband is selfish in bed.) Husband ends up learning from creepy psychiatrist Yoda (who should've lost his license years ago) that he needs to pay attention to his wife's needs. I gave up after they started talking about the yoni.

I'm gonna assume that they were paying out of pocket because there's no way insurance would reimburse for this.
4 people found this helpful
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