Plot Details: This opinion reveals major details about the movie's plot.
It’s only been in the past few years that the so-called “softcore” film has really taken off to the extent that it has, and has metamorphosed into something that could definitely be called “softcore pornography” In that, I mean that these movies are genuinely sexually oriented, the sex scenes are graphic enough to be shown only on late night pay-tv, and also, there are genuine stars of the industry.
Before this, most films that weren’t hardcore were a lot tamer about sexuality. Even B-movies like Two Moon Junction, or Hollywood product like 91/2 Weeks or Body of Evidence, were, while containing some eroticism, more suggestive than really, really wild. It wasn’t really until the mid 1990’s when these types of movies began to really push the envelope, and became much more sexually oriented, to the point that these films are really pornography with class.
Two “groundbreaking” features in this regard are Playtime (1994), and I Like to Play Games (1995). Both movies are very sexual, not just in their imagery, but in their story lines. There’s very little attempt in either of these films to disguise the pornographic aspects of the plots. These aren’t Russ Meyer movies of the 1960’s, where the sexy stuff was surrounded by “socially redeeming” material. These two movies are genuine erotic movies, where the subject is solely on sex. Playtime was about two women who discover an interesting fetish of masturbating in front of each other, while I Like to Play Games is about a woman who submits a man to her games, both psychological and sexual.
I Like to Play Games is not as interesting to me as Play Time, but does have a certain flair, I suppose, if you’re into these things. A man, played by Ken Steadman, breaks up with his nice girlfriend because he’s looking for something wilder, more dangerous. Just then, a new woman enters the picture.
Lisa Boyle plays the woman, Suzanne, who starts working alongside the man at the ad agency. Their first meeting is very interesting. After saying her name to him, she utters the immortal line “It means high-breasted in Gaelic.” Of course, any man who hears such a comment from any woman is bound to want to date this girl, and so of course he tries to get a date with her, even though a couple of guys tell him that Suzanne is bad news.
The first date..... well! She asks him if he has heard the rumors about her. She squelches them by saying that she just likes to play games. The games at first are merely sexual. They mess around in a back alley, then go back to his place, where she asks him to get a condom. When he returns, she’s gone, which only makes him want more. The second date has them fooling around in a hot tub and then in the bed, where she tells him to close his eyes and count to ten... and when he opens.... she’s gone again. He gets into trouble as he vainly tries chasing her car down the street..... while wearing a bathrobe that’s not fully on him, getting him in the slammer for the afternoon for indecent exposure.
Soon, though, things get a little more twisted. Suzanne takes the guy to a hotel, and chains him up to the bed. He’s expecting a wild time, but she takes off, to go back to work. She does return later, and this is when the two actually have the full-blown penetrative sex that he’s been waiting for. After this point, things grow even more dangerous, and the male character indeed seems about to be destroyed by this female monster......
The movie is a lot more sexually graphic than most earlier B-movies. This movie is not “hardcore” of course...... but, twice, Lisa Boyle gives the guy oral sex while he’s still wearing pants or briefs, and there’s no trick shots involved. She actually does have her mouth over the right part.........
The sex scenes besides that are fairly steamy (my favorite is in the hot tub for some reason), helped immensely by Lisa Boyle, who is most assuredly a beautiful woman. She has a perfect figure, including those high breasts that her character refers to, and, if it weren’t for the fact that her character is a troubled piece of work, I’d say that anyone would be lucky to have her as a partner. Sexually, Boyle’s performance is fairly raunchy --which is quite fine by me. In this type of movie, nothing appears gratuitous, since the storyline is so focused on the sexual aspects of the story. In any other movie, a woman who rubs an ice cube over her exposed nipple in a limousine just to play with some guy’s mind would look really strange.... but in this movie, it seems to work, no matter how silly this film might be.
I thought that this movie was hilarious for a number of reasons. Besides that high-breasted line, there’s also some interesting talk at one of the meetings. The agency is supposed to come up with a campaign for a Japanese company that makes golf balls. There’s lots of comparisons between American and Japanese balls........... but we’re still talking golf here, okay! And the boring presentation in front of the exectives is saved by Boyle in an amusing and totally appropriate payoff (and no there’s nothing sexual invovled).
The whole role playing thing is pretty odd, especially at the scene where the guy jokingly acts the master and she jokingly plays the slave. Apparently this is supposed to be cute, but the next time, she turns the tables in a decidedly more sadistic fashion, including slapping him around, and removing his pants with scissors, before handcuffing him onto the bed.
Actually, I think it’s funny overall that anyone would want to date this woman. She’s no fun at all. Who would want to be dragged about by the carnal portions of the body by a person who sees everything as a game, as something she can control? Sure, couples can play sex games, but her attitude toward them is psychologically troubling --- she’s not just being creative, she’s actively manipulating other people as a sociopath or other mentally ill person might.
The plot is based on the sexist notion that women who are sexual are also evil, or in this case, very troubled (the movie ads and reviews suggest that this is a thriller where people are going to die, but that suggestion is blown away by the jokey ending). This is a fun, trashy movie (far more fun than Body of Evidence, that’s for sure!), but I’m not really into these erotic stories, if they introduce such nasty elements. Playtime is a much better movie, because it actually makes sex games look normal, rather than part of a disturbed psyche -- and there’s no nasty taste of violence either. The ending of I Like to Play Games is rather rough; although nobody actually gets killed, the atmosphere is threatening, as the mind games, and emotions, grow nastier. How erotic!
At the same time, I Like to Play Games is a good movie of its kind. There’s lots of silly stuff, the acting isn’t so hot, (although Boyle actually does give the best performance) and the storyline is troublesome (although put together reasonably well), but at the same time this movie is a trashy experience that is a decent time killer.
Footnote: I searched for a meaning of Suzanne on Google, and haven’t yet found any reference to suggest that the name really does mean “high-breasted”. I’ve found “lily” and “rose”, but no “high-breasted”. But if anyone can actually confirm this, by all means, tell me....... I need to know. Really, I do!!
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Viewing Format: VHS
Video Occasion: Good for a Rainy Day