Friday, April 12, 2013


Radley Metzger, 1984
Starring: Carol Levy, Victor Bevine, Shannah Hall

In an erotic riff on Mark Twain’s The Prince and the Pauper, where two identical boys from very different worlds trade places, Metzger’s final, disappointing film has a wealthy débutante and a call girl switch lives just for kicks. Old college friends, they just happen to be identical. Audrey, the socialite, is about to get married, and Lucy, the call girl, needs someone to fill in for her at work. They trades places so Audrey can have a hedonistic, sex-filled weekend around Europe before tying the knot and Lucy can get a break from work. 

The lovely Carol Levy (The Chosen, Alone in the Dark) stars alongside TV actor Victor Bevine (Star Trek: First Contact), and Shannah Hall, all three of whom were also in Gérard Loubeau’s Les fantasmes de Miss Jones, which was scripted by Metzger. Oh wait... Surprise! That’s not a real movie, it’s just the French version of The Princess and the Call Girl. This film is actually a French-U.S. coproduction, which allows for some lovely sets and dual versions of the film, but there's not much else worth mentioning. Levy gives a decent performance as both Audrey and Lucy and overall is charming and charismatic, but she is not enough to rescue the lagging plot or silly proceedings. 

For Metzger completists, this film is mildly entertaining, but everyone else should probably avoid it. Also keep in mind that this is a softcore, not a hardcore film. It is along the same vein as French and Italian sex comedies, but fails to reach the ribald heights of the some of the best in that genre. The sex is very, very tame, despite the fact that one of the central characters is a call girl. It is also simply too low budget to compete with some of Metzger’s loveliest films, despite the amount of time spent walking around France and the Mediterranean. It also lacks Metzger’s trademark humor and wit, which is sorely missed, instead leaving us with some very sad attempts at humor. Overall, the funny moments in this film are unfortunately unintentional. 

There is a decent DVD from Image as part of their Radley Metzger series, though you would be better served checking out some of Metzger’s mid-period hardcore films like Naked Came the Stranger, The Opening of Misty Beethoven, and Barbara Broadcast, among others. It is somewhat sad that this was Metzger’s last feature film, but fortunately in the last few years he’s had a revival where a number of DVD companies like Image and Distribpix have restored and released his film on special edition DVD and Blu-ray. 

No comments:

Post a Comment