Judge Patrick Bromley thinks you know what you're getting here.
Where does reel passion end and real ecstasy begin?
There is a lot of nudity in the 1984 soft-core soap flick Love Scenes. A lot. I mention this so early on in this review because I suspect this will hold some appeal for certain readers. This appeal, I further suspect, is the very reason for the existence of Love Scenes. Without the very many instances of the well-displayed female form, I'm not so sure there's actually a movie here.
Now, please don't think me prudish. I do enjoy the celluloid nakedness from time to time. Heck, I've probably seen a movie or two based on nothing but the promise of a nude scene (as the box office receipts of Swordfish can attest to). But nekkid women do not a movie make, and Love Scenes is the case that proves the theory.
Love Scenes (which appears in the opening credits as Ecstasy, something the producers of the DVD opted not to correct) stars '70s sex symbol (and I use the term loosely…she appears to have been something like the Julie Strain of that decade) Tiffany Bolling (Candy Snatchers, The Centerfold Girls, Kingdom of the Spiders) as Val Binnes, a successful actress married to an equally successful director (played by Franc Luz of The Nest and Ghost Town). The two decide to team up for a steamy mainstream sex film (written by Julie Newmar! You know—the hotter of the two Catwomen? I can't decide if she looks great in this movie or if she looks like a drag queen…and now I can't decide what that says about me), but the pressures and passions that the film conjures up put their marriage in jeopardy. That's pretty much it. The rest of the movie's 94-minute running time is occupied by naked people, who occasionally roll around on a bed accompanied by some sexalicious tenor sax.
Yes, the plot description is alarmingly simplistic. But so is the movie. What I've described really is the extent of the "drama"—the husband/director gets too carried away in asking his wife to get it on with her hot male co-star, then the wife/actress resents him for it, then she gets too carried away doing it with her hot male co-star, then the husband/director resents her for it. Oh, and Britt Ekland is hanging around as a bisexual photographer always looking to take nude photographs of Ms. Bolling. And, yes, Britt Ekland was hot in The Man With the Golden Gun, but here she's got a kind of feather-banged mullet thing going on that doesn't so much scream "I was a Bond girl!" as it does "Dammit, I am 1984!"
The DVD of Love Scenes comes courtesy of the Private Screening Collection (who else?). Originally produced by Playboy Productions (who else?), the film looks its age—it's soft and washed out, with some definite color timing issues. It actually has the look of a made-for-TV movie from about eight years prior. Having said that, the DVD does manage to reproduce the image fairly faithfully and is by no means horrible looking. Nothing about the transfer should get in the way of what viewers will come to this movie for, if you know what I mean. I'm talking about boobs.
This is the kind of film that was designed to play late at night on 1980s cable (Cinemax or HBO…back when HBO played movies), when young men up way past their bedtimes would sneak away to catch a peek at girls' swimsuit parts. And, I suppose given those very limited aspirations, it doesn't disappoint. But the world is different now. One can see naked girls on just about any cable channel at just about any time of day. Or on the computer. Or on the back of a cereal box. The availability of the kind of "adult" content this film provides has left movies like Love Scenes pretty much obsolete. That leaves the appeal of this DVD to novelty or nostalgia. Maybe there are some readers who have fond memories of catching this movie under those previously outlined circumstances 20 years ago, and who possibly even wish to seek this disc out. More power to you. I'll be over here with my copy of The Gift.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Private Screening Collection
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