Sex Ed is a poor man’s The 40-Year-Old Virgin combined with School of Rock.

Haley Joel Osment plays the titular Ed. I didn’t even realize the monumentally stupid pun in the title because I never bothered to pay attention to the character’s name while watching the movie. I could only see Haley Joel Osment, not the character. Ed Cole is a first-time teacher at an inner city after school program for middle school students. Since the kids have no one to teach them sexual education, Eddie decides to be the one to educate them—despite the fact that he’s never actually had sex.

This is fucking spot-on casting. Haley Joel Osment is the most believable virgin.

Sex Ed Cole

I think we can all agree that Haley Joel Osment is not a leading man. He looks like a man-child. It’s probably not fair to child actors, but I feel like it’s impossible for us (the general public) to forget the image we have of them as a child. Haley Joel Osment’s face looks like a shrunken face meme. The size and proportion of his eyes, nose, and mouth look the exact same as a child and adult.

It feels weird that I am the same age as Haley Joel Osment. Because of his tremendous success as a child actor, it just feels like he has been around forever. Haley Joel still has those acting chops. Sex Ed is a charming, engaging comedy that works because of his comedic timing and ability to make you sympathize with his situation. Eddie isn’t a bad guy at all. But he manages to fuck up any opportunity that is presented. He’s a lovable dofus, which is why Haley Joel Osment is a perfect fit.

Short Sleeves

Haley Joel Osment looks like he came out of the womb wearing a short-sleeve dress shirt.

Sex Ed wisely realized the unintentional comedic gold they had on their hands with Haley Joel Osment, and this movie utilizes that extremely well with a childish haircut, goofy sunglasses, and a myriad of short-sleeves. While Haley Joel is the main reason to watch this movie, the supporting cast is surprisingly good. Ed’s best friend is a sex fiend named JT who is played tremendously by Glen Powell. JT is a charismatic weirdo that somehow maintains a fairly normal relationship with his steady girlfriend—Ally, played by Castille Landon. I have no idea if Powell possesses any range, but he is fantastic in this comedic niche. Powell pops whenever he’s on the screen so watch out for him in the future.

Glen Powell

While most of the young actors portraying the students were forgettable, Kevin Hernandez is outstanding as Tito—the younger brother of Haley Joel’s love interest, Pilar. I recognized Kevin Hernandez from Get the Gringo, which is a superb Mel Gibson movie still streaming on Netflix. And he plays a minor role in Short Term 12 (also streaming). In Get the Gringo and Short Term 12, he is basically still a child and is remarkable in those dramatic roles. In Sex Ed, Kevin Hernandez shows his comedic chops by playing a constantly horny teenager who needs Haley Joel’s guidance—ignoring that he’s arguably more experienced than Ed. I think this movie made such a tired old premise succeed because they packed as much comedy as possible into small moments with really good actors.

The other noteworthy supporting cast members were Matt Walsh as Washout, Ray Santiago as Hector, and Chris Williams as Reverend Marcus Hamilton. Matt Walsh is a great improv artist and he delivers his staple awkward comedy when interviewing Haley Joel’s character for the teaching position. You may not know him by name, but you have seen Matt Walsh in one of his million bit roles. If you watch one of the best shows on television, Ash vs. Evil Dead, then Ray Santiago should be familiar from his part as Pablo (Ash’s sidekick). Hector is a different role for Ray Santiago because he’s playing more of a macho tough guy as Pilar’s boyfriend, and he’s a total dick whenever Haley Joel sniffs around. Chris Williams has also played a million different roles, but I’ll always refer to him as Krazee-Eyez Killa from one of the most memorable episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm. In Sex Ed, Chris Williams plays the religious parent opposed to Ed’s sexual education of minors. There’s not much scenery for Williams to chew in this straight-laced role, but he serves his part as a plot device to further the story.

30-Year-Old Virgin

Again, Sex Ed isn’t breaking any conventions or doing anything new. But it still holds up on a repeat viewing as an above-average modern comedy. Particularly with this subject matter, the writer (Bill Kennedy) and director (Isaac Feder) should have pushed the envelope more to the ridiculously fun and raunchy. Although they decided to be reserved, the movie was begging for more absurdity.

If you think back on 40-Year-Old Virgin, there are several scenes of Steve Carrell fumbling around awkwardly trying to have sex. I’m not saying I wanted some big-boobed bimbo smacking Haley Joel Osment in the face with her tits, but I wanted to see them exploit what people like me think of him—as a child actor in so many memorable movies like Forrest Gump, The Sixth Sense, Pay It Forward, and even A.I. Artificial Intelligence. I’m sure Haley Joel would like to break that squeaky clean image.

On Netflix, it is slim pickings in terms of quality comedies. Most of my highest-rated comedies are stand-up performances or dark comedies. If you’re looking for some cheap laughs, Sex Ed is at least an option to throw on and enjoy laughing with and at Haley Joel Osment.

I mean, look at this fucking guy.


Creepy Haley Joel

3 out of 5 stars


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