Carefree De Renzy porn, bearing an underlying message
Set in a San Francisco massage parlor, Alex de Renzy's FANTASY GIRLS seems at first glance to be a friendly neighborhood porn picture, more slice of life than dramatics or comedy.
But that's the point; except for a brief scene wherein a lawyer informs the parlor's manager Ruby that under a city ordinance all the girls have to register with the police, the movie depicts business as usual. The sex trade is just another part of modern life and De Renzy is implicitly arguing for a live and let live approach.
The girls' performances are natural and low-key, befitting the message. Ruby in particular never gets ruffled whatever the circumstances, showing a newbie Sharon the ropes, and servicing the customers with aplomb. A telling moment is after she gives a guy a very sensual hand job, leading to the money shot, she cleans up afterward and departs after a gentle love pat on his cock -charming even in context.
Nominal storyline concerns some kinky customers: one outcall dude has a masseuse come to his hotel, for a threesome with his lovely wife. Jamie Gillis is quite convincing as a submissive customer, enjoying the masseuse's verbal abuse instead of dishing it out as he has done in countless movies. More impressive is a leather boy who insists on getting a Golden Shower from the masseuse when he is about to ejaculate, offering astronomical sums for her to do the deed (which she does).
Perhaps to correct an imbalance in hardcore content, the film accurately emphasizes hand jobs instead of intercourse, and is quite arousing to "Tugs" fans. De Renzy's closeup photography works extremely well here.
Another odd motif is an underlying anti-ageism subplot. Jenny is an older woman who provides towels and does the cleaning up at the parlor, but late in the film she turns MILF (and she's very plain looking, not a knockout), humping a young Latino janitor.
Sharon Thorpe as Sharon and Bonnie Holiday are the most recognizable actresses among the five masseuses, though the others are impressive too. Similar cast, but with the great Joan Devlon starring, performed in De Renzy's much heavier in tone SWEET AGONY, intriguing in its trailer but currently unavailable.
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