Pros: Catalina Larranaga, Kim Yates; a safe "romantic" erotica for couples.
Cons: Rather tame sexually, too sappy and bland plotwise.
Well, this review should prove to all of you out there that, despite what you may think, Im most definitely not a cultured person. The other day, I bought this video at the pawn shop. The movie is an erotic drama from Playboy. The mere fact Ive watched this video has completely destroyed all my credibility -- although for the few of you keeping score I also have a VHS of Ingmar Bergmans Persona left to watch.
Now, the funniest thing about these erotic movies is that nobody watches them for the plot. Do any of them even have a plot worth talking about? Maybe, maybe not. But one big reason why anyone would watch any of these flicks is for the sexy people. And really, whats wrong with this?
But the kind of erotic movie Loveblind represents is pretty passe in a world where everybody who wants to watch something erotic picks up a hardcore movie where all sorts of bizarre and scatological things happen. When people say they want to rent a sexy movie, they really mean, they want to rent a porno, not some soft-focus erotica/soap opera.
Loveblind was made in 2000, when the movies made by Playboy actually tried to be real movies. Originally, they even starred some famous actors in supporting roles -- Eliot Gould and Paul Sorvino are actually in the cast of a couple of the really old Playboy films from the early-90s Ive seen on the Blockbuster shelf (although I doubt they had sex scenes!) -- but even slumming veteran character actors were too expensive, so Playboy soon stuck with the unknowns.
But as Playboy movies and other erotica became more graphic, they ended up using more porn stars, whod do the more steamy scenes. Now I dont think Playboy even makes movies any more, as its just cheaper to show XXX movies, and more people seem to watch them.
Now if you want to watch a softcore, non-XXX film, youll be treated to some really clunky cinema. How do I know this? Well, in Canada there is a channel called Sex TV -- mind you, most of the running time is spent airing reruns of Blind Date and Divorce Court, but late night, it airs softcore, and they air some real doozys. Im not stupid enough to stay awake any longer than 15 minutes, but these films are still pretty bad to watch. Sure, the sex is better, but the acting is just stiff, no pun intended. Some of these actors are the worst youll ever see.
So compared to that, Loveblinds not a bad picture.
The plot is something straight out of lurid daytime soap opera. A photographer of erotic nudes (Bobby Johnston) is about to work on a new project. He goes to visit his best friend (Eric Acsell), whos also the publisher, to set up the project. His friend lives with his fiancee, played by Kim Yates. The photographer, one of those love-them-and-leave-them types, is kind of surprised at the whole thing -- he asks his friend if he will be able to love her for the rest of his life, because people change.
The photographer tries to find the right woman for his project, by checking out a bunch of models photos from the modeling agencies. Hes not too happy with any of them. But during a walk along the beach, he finds his inspiration in Larranagas character, who comes out of the ocean wearing a tank-top, soaking wet of course.
This foursome (no pun intended!) end up debating their emotions and feelings about things. Yates character thinks shes ready for marriage at first, but erotic dreams, and the presence of both the photographer and the new model, tempt her to question whether she truly is ready. Naturally, this need for discovery worries her partner, who thinks his more hedonistic friend will use this to his advantage.
The photographer is confronted by the model about his feelings toward women. She suggests hes afraid of women because his photos focus on the body rather than the face. They show the physicality of the woman, but arent intimate. The photographer brushes aside her comments, but shes obviously right -- after all, hes the sort of guy who, earlier in the film, fools around with one of his students from the college he teaches at, and also flirts with his friends fiancee. Hes the sort of guy who keeps his distance, doesnt make a commitment. In some ways, the model is like that too -- she says she never stays long at one place, before moving on.
Naturally, theres a lot of sexual shenanigans going on. As Kim Yates character explores her feelings, she almost gets it on with the photographer. But her real exploration comes with Larranaga -- she gets the idea to join in the nude modeling session, and later on, the two women make love at the edge of the pool. And it was good for her -- Yates says it was the first orgasm she has in quite a long time, which inspires Larranaga to tell the future husband (but not demonstrate! although he does fantasize about her in the pool) how to please a woman.
So will love conquer all? What do you think?? These type of erotic dramas never have unhappy endings!
The acting is actually pretty competent. This movie was made when these types of movies were essentially up to the quality of a competent TV-movie (but with softcore sex), which means the actors actually have some skill, and the production values are fairly good. While none of the actors are award-calibre, they at least can recite lines without stumbling; something you cant say for the porn stars who star in these things now.
The awful stereotype is that any woman who appear in these films are naturally bimbos -- Yates and Larranaga have storied careers in softcore, but they are definitely not airheads. Its clear Loveblind was made for a couples audience -- all four characters are equally respectable, and the attitude of this film is no different from a romantic drama or soap opera.
The sex is warm, but not scalding. A lot of the love scenes are more like aggressive posing than aggressive sex, which is fine if you just want soft erotica but not so good if youre looking for something extremely realistic. I, for my part, can live without seeing hardcore stuff anyway, but even in a romantic erotic drama, the film could have been more explicit. Actually, come to think of it, remember when I referred to Bergmans Persona? I remember from the first time I watched that film Bibi Andersons monologue about a sexual encounter. The details were probably more pornographic than anything to be found in this movie.
The script itself isnt groundbreaking, but has the sort of stuff youd probably find in a romance novel or soap opera. The ending is pretty much the typical cliched ending where youre supposed to be left in suspense as to whether the guy and the girl will actually get together -- but of course, youre not really in suspense! The movie is good enough as a time killer -- and as a way to see Catalina Larranaga, the most appealing of the cast in my eyes, look sexy and feisty both in and out of her clothes.