Monday, September 19, 2011

3 Paragraphs on: Private School

1983, Noel Black -- Netflix

It's rare for me to watch a film and feel so completely ashamed for having watched it once it was over.  It's even rarer for me to watch a film and to feel so completely ashamed for watching it so soon into the film.  Ten minutes into the film and we have three horndog private school boys standing on each other's shoulders so that they can photograph the, yes, exceptionally attractive Betsy Russell getting out of the shower, then going so far as to reach in the window an rip her towel off her.  Oh, the 1980s, where sexual harassment, groping, molestation, date rape and whatnot were all considered good clean fun.  The internet is keeping a lot of perverts at home methinks.

The basic plot of the film (and I do mean basic as it's about, at best 15 minutes worth of script) finds Pheobe Cates agreeing to go all the way with Matthew Modine and the road to getting there, which is interrupted by scene after scene of Betsey Russell trying to lure Modine into her ...self by exposing herself to him, and far too many scenes of Michael Zorek in constant search of ogling and fondling private school girls.  Oh, and there's far too many music sequences which would normally be a montage but instead are usually lingering and leering shots of girls doing aerobics or somesuch.

The film's central commentary seems to be that is a complete and utter pervert unable to control himself, as every male character in the film is lecherous, including the visiting fathers and, oh, poor Ray Walston.  This film tarnished so many good memories I had of that charming actor.  The film even tries to make a point that kids should use condoms with an entended sequence starring Martin Mull helping Cates and Modine purchase prophylactics, only to have the two ultimately wind up spur-of-the-moment doing it bareback on the beach, From Here To Eternity-style.  This film is a frequently disgusting, pointless, and ineptly made to boot, with only a brief soft-focus, almost lovingly (instead of lustily) shot topless horse riding sequence having any class to it at all.  Seriously.