I can’t think of many films—outside of, you know, the ones hosted on Pornhub—where dicks are so critical to the plot that the absence of them would mean the absence of a purpose for the film altogether.
The Jesus Rolls is one of those movies. But first, before we get to the dicks: Remember The Big Lebowski’s Jesus Quintana? The guy who got a three-minute cameo in the 1998 classic, where he licked a bowling ball and talked shit to The Dude? He got his own movie, with the original actor, John Turturro, directing the film, and reprising his role as Jesus. (The Big Lebowski directors, Joel and Ethan Coen, were not involved with The Jesus Rolls.)
It probably won’t surprise you to learn that The Jesus Rolls isn’t a spinoff of the superhero variety—which would probably be a film where Jesus bowls and quips a whole lot, and The Dude pops in for an oh-shit cameo. Nor is it in the spirit of FX’s Fargo series, meaning a fresh-feeling romp with Coen brothers vibes.
Instead, The Jesus Rolls is partially a remake of the 1974 French film Going Places, which was massively controversial at the time—following two criminals as they high-tail it from the police, meet (and sleep with) a woman who can’t orgasm, and another woman fresh out of jail. That’s more or less the plot of The Jesus Rolls. Quintana and Petey (played by Bobby Cannavale) are the criminals, Marie (Audrey Tautou) is the first woman, and Jean (Susan Sarandon) is the second.
The Jesus Rolls feels the lovechild of that three-minute Lebowski cameo and Going Places. And the two don’t really mix. Turns out there’s not much to like about Quintana—the movie starts with him committing indecent exposure in front of a child (he’s accused of being a pedophile in Lebowski). When he’s out of jail, he reunites with a bunch of old friends, meets some new ones (who all are introduced like we’re supposed to know who they are), and has two threesomes with Petey involved.
If there’s any driving plotline that has a beginning, middle, and end, it’s Marie’s struggle to orgasm. And that brings us back to the dicks. Of course, there’s the superficial dick stuff in The Jesus Rolls, like non-prestige Adam Sandler kind of dick stuff. Petey is shot so close to his right nut that it nearly explodes. (Petey walks/runs/fucks with a limp for most of the movie, making his sore testicle a constant reminder.) Jesus, tush to the camera, swings his dick around, helicopter-style, in front of a sore-nutted Petey.
But there’s also very important dick stuff. Dick stuff that’s so important that the only dick important enough to do the important dick stuff, is the dick of none other than the most famous dick of the past year: Pete Davidson’s dick, which his ex-girlfriend, Ariana Grande once tweeted approximate measurements of, his dick the ultimate embodiment of what The Cut coined as Big Dick Energy.
You guessed it, the only character who can do the job—call it Chekhov’s Dick, or something like that—is Pete Davidson’s character, Jack, who’s the son of the older woman Jesus and Petey have a threesome with. (Things get sort of complicated the further you go into The Jesus Rolls.) The leading men meet up with Jack, invite him to have sex with Marie, and she finally climaxes—and, even though it sends Jesus and Petey into a jealous frenzy—that’s about all the closure we get in The Jesus Rolls.
So here’s to leaving beloved movies alone, obscure French films, and Pete Davidson’s dick.
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