Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.
USA/Yugoslavia, 1974. Audubon Films, Jadran Film. Screenplay by Jerry Douglas. Cinematography by Frano Vodopivec. Produced by Ava Leighton. Music by Robert Cornford. Production Design by Ivica Trpcic. Costume Design by Branko Gretic. Film Editing by Doris Toumarkine.
Claire Wilbur and Gerald Grant prove that the couple that plays together, stays together, their bond made so much happier by their indulgence in extramarital affairs and plenty of swinging with other couples. Their current bet is that she can get a prissy young woman (a wonderful Lynn Lowry) and he can get her handsome husband (gay porn star Casey Donovan, here performing under his real name Calvin Culver) into the sack, not realizing that Lowry’s sexually frustrated relationship with her husband might make the situation easier to accomplish than expected. The couples get together for a dinner party that quickly turns into a costume party when the tickle trunk is brought out, and we all know where that leads. Hopelessly dated, this cheery bit of smut is a lazy version of Dangerous Liaisons that is easy to sit through because of surprisingly wonderful performances. The genuinely sexy chemistry between Donovan and Grant makes up for the silliness of trying to get any heat out of combining the two women (their scenes are mostly hairspray and too many long caresses, none of the energy that Wilbur expends on the telephone repairman who comes over and finds more plugs to fix than he expected, ZING). Watching people colour outside the lines without putting a label on everything and seeing them enjoy sex with so little guilt or discussion in the pre-AIDS cinema landscape really is something great to behold, combined with the patina of corniness laid over it thanks to them constantly busting out cheesy devices (Vibrators by Cuisinart, I’m guessing, and just look at that tin of poppers) that makes it hopelessly fun.