Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Movie review - "And God Created Women" (1988) *1/2 (warning: spoilers)

Remaking your own film isn't than unusual - Hitchcock and John Ford did it - but this is different in that Roger Vadim really only reused the title of his most famous film. He does have a shapely, sexually independent woman in the lead but Rebecca de Morney is a long way from Brigitte Bardot.

It's not that de Mornay is bad - she always gives at least a competent performance, she has a great figure - it's just she lacks the It factor of Bardot. She also doesn't have as interesting a character to play, or story to appear in, or locations that are as nice as St Topez (this is in New Mexico which looks all desert-y).

The story has her as a jailbird and aspiring rock guitarist who gets out of prison by marrying a man she doesn't love (Vincent Spano), though she has seduced him when he came in to do some tradie work at the prison - this is actually the hottest scene in the movie, a nude de Morney hiding from the guards, asking Spano to protect her, then going for it. A few more moments like this might have livened up things.

Anyway, she gets out of prison and there's some argy bargy with Spano who wants to have sex with her but she refuses. She has a fling with politician Frank Langella (these sex scenes are not hot), gets jealous when Spano goes off with a girl, engages in some Overboard style comedy with her helping look after Spano's son, decides to have sex with Spano and they fall in love (at some stage, I wasn't quite sure where), then she's going to be sent back to prison because someone takes photos of her and Spano having sex but she gets out of it by playing a song in a rock band and praising Langella. At which point the audience is likely to go "huh?" if it hasn't already gone "I don't care".

There's not enough sex for this to be erotica or thrills for it to be a thriller; it's not melodrama. It's just drama with a bit of sex thrown in, along with horrible 80s music (campest moment is that climactic song played by De Morney's band where everyone is watching it thinking it's awesome). The original was a flawed piece but it had a good solid dramatic situation (i.e. two brothers want the one girl) exploited well. In a weird way if you cut down the explicitness of the sex, this wouldn't be a bad movie for tweens because it's got a girl in spiky hair running around having adventures, with men panting over her, playing in a band coming up triumphant. As it is, it falls between stools.

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