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Exit to Eden was a fine erotic book by Ann Rice, full of texture, sensuality and drama, all of the things the movie is not. Why Gary Marshall chose to turn a great novel into a non-funny comedy with the miscasting of Rosie O'Donnell and Dan Aykroyd is beyond me. The subject of this movie has never been dealt with in a non-X movie and it should have been done with tact instead of a loose comedy hand. The cast is good except the above duo. Dana Delany is great as the Mistress of a pleasure island; she takes a chance and shows her sexy side of herself as well as full body nudity. You watch this movie and shake your head about how good it could have been. read the book, forget the movie. 4 out of 10
As one reviewer pointed out, the film is neither good or bad. I think the
problem lies mainly in the marketing. Like many people who viewed this
film, I thought it would be a comedy. It is, to a degree. Judging by the
subject matter, I knew "Exit" would be at least somewhat risque, but since
found out Garry Marshall directed it, I assumed it would be tastefully
with little or no nudity. After all, this is the guy who directed films
like "Runaway Bride" and "The Princess Diaries," and I think he produced
"Laverne and Shirley." Naturally, I wasn't expecting softcore porn!
this isn't an EXACT clone of a late night movie on Cinemax, but it comes
pretty close. I guess I would compare this with certain adult comedies
"The Bikini Carwash Company" and "Beauty School."
I was entertained and stimulated by some of the nude scenes, and I never knew Dana Delaney had such an AWESOME body! I will never look at her the same ever again! And you've got the handsome Aussie, Paul Mercurio, so there's something for the guys and gals to enjoy. Unfortunately, I kept waiting for something funny to happen and my patience was running low.
Many people think of Rosie O'Donnell as an annoying you-know-what, but that's because many of those people didn't know her until she started doing her talk show. I watched her show sometimes, but I admit there were times where I just wanted to slug her. But she was putting on a sing-songy, G-rated persona for the show. I've seen her one of her stand-up acts on television, and quite a few words had to be bleeped. So trust me, she doesn't have the same clean-cut persona you've seen in her talk show. And she does have a reasonable amount of talent as a comedienne, which is why I wanted to check out the film in the first place. At times she's funny, at times she's not, due to faulty writing and forced comic timing. Dan Aykroyd has a few funny moments as well, but also seems humiliated to be in this movie. Don't expect the same high-energy, manic Aykroyd performance he usually delivers.
"Exit to Eden" works out well as softcore porn, but doesn't totally deliver as a comedy. The film would've worked out better, if it didn't suffer from this identity crisis.
My score: 5 (out of 10)
One thing can be said about veteran director Garry Marshall; he'll go nearly
ANYWHERE for love and laughs.
EXIT TO EDEN may be about as unlikely a mainstream comedy/romance as you'll find, with most of the action occurring at a 'Club Med'-type resort catering to S&M devotees, but someone, somewhere, might have been able to pull it off...but not, unfortunately, the ever-conventional Marshall, who, try as he might, can't make either the comedy (as two cops attempt to infiltrate the club to capture a fugitive 'hiding out' among the 'mistresses' and 'slaves') or the love story (as a somewhat jaded 'mistress' discovers the joys of conventional romance with a mysterious newcomer) more than mildly entertaining.
The main problem is miscasting; while a Dan Aykroyd/Rosie O'Donnell team-up might have looked good on paper, on film the two actors have virtually no chemistry together. Aykroyd is better as a 'straight man' than comic, and, as age has given him a 'cuddly' quality (along with extra pounds), the edginess he displayed in THE BLUES BROTHERS or even DRAGNET is gone. O'Donnell, on the other hand, is TOO edgy, and can become annoying quite easily. Her one-liners seem contrived and often mean-spirited...and Rosie in leather is a sight I've been trying to forget for 10 years! Dana Delany fares somewhat better, as the Number 1 Dominatrix (her voluptuous curves, encased in leather, and brief nude scenes have made EXIT TO EDEN a video store favorite), but her personality, fundamentally sweet-natured (more 'Girl Next Door' than 'Supervixen') plays against her. She is simply too 'nice' for her role! Coming off best is Australian newcomer Paul Mercurio, in his first American film. With a twinkle in his eye, he 'plays' the S&M 'game' as a joke, championing traditional romance, and, ultimately, converts Delany to his point of view. Totally natural, Mercurio 'steals' the film from the veteran cast. He, and Marshall 'regular' Hector Elizondo are both so good, in fact, that they seem to have been 'lifted' from a different film!
EXIT TO EDEN stumbles frequently, in it's attempt to be both mainstream AND daring, and ends up being boring and a bit distasteful.
PRETTY WOMAN, it ain't!
This is a movie that is okay and has a decent performance by Delaney and Ackroyd and the best role O'Donnell has had yet. There are those who hate this film and some who love it. Since it contains neither Pauly Shore nor Adam Sandler and not a trace of Bo Derek or Pia Zadora, it can't be as bad as so many think. It may not be Olivier doing Hamlet, but it beats Shatner playing Othello. Recommended for Dana Delaney and Rosie fans with the obligatory Hector Elizando appearance though he's done much better elsewhere.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I have always thought _Exit to Eden_ Anne Rice's worst book. Yes, worse
than _Belinda_ or even all three _Beauty_ books. It seemed as if she was
almost preaching at us about how freeing S&M can be for all of us. The
characters seemed to experience a lot of tumult, but really didn't feel at
all deeply. Then she marries Lisa off to Elliot. I'm not sure what S&M
advocates thought of that, but it seemed too traditional an ending and
basically trashed the point of every preceding page.
The movie's worse. I adore Paul Mercurio. "Strictly Ballroom" is one of my favorite movies ever, but-- he seemed to be just eye-candy here. Why, oh why, hasn't he been really acting since? Dana Delaney was beautiful, but she didn't seem at all fierce, dangerous, as I would have hoped big bad Mistress Lisa would be. While O'Donnell and Akroyd were fun to watch, that whole added on plot was terrible! Why move the focus off Lisa and Elliot's relationship? Why not take all the bondage/S&M seriously, instead of making it a joke? Rosie O. in a leather suit, hopping off the set? Lord have mercy on us all.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
but this one sure comes close. Delaney is the ONLY thing worth watching in this putrid mess. Rosie O'Donnell has disavowed this picture (with good reason, although why she allowed herself to appear in it at all, let alone being decked out in S&M leathers, is something only she can answer), Dan Aykroyd can just add this to his long list of career-killing disasters (his latest being Britney Spears' stupefying challenge to the digestive system, "Crossroads"), I don't know (or much care) whatever happened to Paul Mercurio, and Dana Delaney has hopefully gotten a new agent by now. The whole S&M subculture would be a good subject for a movie, but this leering, smarmy piece of swill isn't it. If you're not a Dana Delaney fan, don't waste your time or your money.
I watched this movie, having been a fan of Anne Rice's novels. I found that a few of the scenes did a good job of imagining what the book was suggesting. These were mostly trivial in the movie. I really enjoyed the story and managed to sit through the horrible overlapping story (All of Dan & Rosie's scenes) to catch a bit of the fantasy brought to the screen that had been in my head reading the book. I guess if it had been passed off as other than a comedy, it would have to be labeled pornography. The good parts of the movie show that this could have been a great project if they had attempted to stay close to the spirit of the novel.
Exit to Eden is really a movie with two plots. The first: combat
photographer Elliot Slater travels to the sex-fantasy island of Eden to
confront his aberrant sexual inclinations and, while on the island, begins
romance with Eden's head mistress, Mistress Lisa. The second plot:
Detectives Fred Lavery and Sheila Kingston also travel to Eden pursuing
supercriminals Nina and Omar, who are also on Eden to kill Elliot and
retrieve the pictures he has taken of them. This is a well made movie
some laughs, sex, and bubbly romance.
Exit to Eden is Rated R for strong sexual content, nudity, mild language, brief gore, and some violence.
I have seen many of the uber bad movies on the bottom 100: You Got Served, Glitter etc and I think this movie is up there with them. You Got Served and Glitter are obviously bad, but this movie is subtly the worst movie I have ever seen. I think that after Basic Instinct some Hollywood exec thought: "Hmm this is the next big thing, mainstream movies with tons of nudity and sex!" The problem with this thought is that a)that wasn't the next big thing and b) this movie has none of the traits of a mainstream movie. The acting in this movie is horrendous, aside from Rosie O'Donnell and Dan Aykroyd who play second fiddle to a couple of porn rate actors, the plot is awkward because it has to squeeze in so much sex and the directing kind of feels like a porn movie. The plot is the worst part, in my opinion, there are two distinct plots in the movie that intersect a couple of times and finally conclude concurrently. Nothing all that unusual there, but both plots are so meaningless and free from suspense that the only plot device evident is the switch between soft core sex scenes to Dan and Rosie standing around waiting for something to happen. The only reason to watch this movie is if you really need to see some nudity, and even the sex scenes are nothing special. Most are just standard soft core porn, only in order to pass it off as a "mainstream movie" even those are cut short. I vaguely remembered when this movie came out and I was pretty excited when it came on HBO, but it was so bad that I could barely go to sleep. If you have any choice in the matter WATCH SOMETHING ELSE!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I really don't think it's as bad as so many say but there's no doubt the movie wasn't quite right. The main problem that I had watching it was the lack of any true laugh out loud funny lines. I did chuckle a few times but for a movie that's supposed to be such an outrageous comedy, it really didn't ever get truly hilarious.
Also, what bothered me was the lack of cohesiveness to the story. The thing that came to mind when watching it was that it seemed like it had no structure. It was almost seemed like the cast just got together and decided to ham it up and see how outrageous they could get. It didn't really flow and sometimes it almost seemed like the cast could have been making up their lines spur of the moment. Everyone involved seemed to be having a good time but it looked at times like they forgot about the audience. It was watchable but at times just sort of THERE, and never hooked me in.
It had no problem keeping my attention but never became compelling or even very interesting. Storyline seemed to be thrown out in favor of clowning around and trying for outrageousness but something was missing. It's not really a movie that makes you want to view it Twice.
Having said that, I will also say this isn't dreadful and I've certainly seen worse. I'd give this about an average rating (5 of 10). No doubt it could have been better but it's not awful.
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