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Is it just me or is Kari Wuhrer the most underrated actress currently working? She's stunningly sexy and has genuine acting talent to boot. Why then, won't the Hollywood bigwigs hire her? Sigh, guess we'll just have to suck it up and accept these low budget movies she stars in all the time. In this case, it's called Luscious (aka Vivid). Kari plays the girlfriend of a mentally disturbed painter who has, uh, painter's block until he and his girlfriend get it on with paint all over their bodies. That's about it as far as story goes.
Kari Wuhrer is pretty much the only positive thing this movie has going for it. She's beautiful, shows LOTS of nudity (definitely a plus), and delivers a pretty good performance, the latter of which is impressive given the script she has to work with. The dialogue attempts to add a degree of "hipness" we've come to expect, as well as a measure of "profound" depth. The mixture comes off as laughable. If you're a Kari Wuhrer fan, her presence here makes the movie bearable so it's not a complete waste of time.
'Vivid' is only good for one thing: to watch Kari Wuhrer take her clothes off. And you can believe she looks fine, if they made a movie with that sole purpose. Anyhow, don't expect an artsy movie with some nudity, expect a nudie flick with some art in it.
-Nudity: Like I said, Billie, played by Kari Wuhrer (Salin, in this movie), is naked lots of times. Her nudity lasts for about 20 minutes out of the movie's total runtime of 83 minutes. But the nudity is much better in the beginning, the whole paint thing kind of ruins it later on. 30/38
-Actresses: Just two actresses are featured in 'Vivid', the second one being an older woman, much less attractive than Ms. (or is it 'Mrs.'?) Wuhrer. So, after doing the division by two (actresses), and the estimation of attractiveness (for each one)... 17/28
-Sex Scenes: I'm no expert at rating such scenes, but I would say they are okay. Like another reviewer suggested, watch for the anal problem that the main character encounters, later in the film. This text refers to the version entitled 'Vivid'. 8/10
-Suspense: There is hardly any suspense in this. 1/7
-Ending: The ending was well-suited for the film, but not great by any standards. 3/6
-Acting: At least they tried. 2/5
-Soundtrack: It's not great, but it does its job, which is to accompany the sex scenes, well. 2/2
-Genre: This is an erotic film 3/4
Don't consider this movie a box office film deserving a general mark of 7 out of 10; consider it an erotic movie deserving a general mark of 7 out of 10 only as far as erotic movies go. So, this isn't even among the very best of sexy movies. Only some will like it. From Swordlord, 2 swords up!
The early scenes show Steve Shellen as an artist suffering from severe depression which has led him to develop very erratic behaviour patterns that appear to be just tolerated by his live in model (Kari Wuhrer). These scenes are totally unbelievable - an artist who tramples wet canvasses into the floor, and even throws cans of paint around, would not live in the reasonably clean and tidy suburban type home which is shown - he would be more likely to be found in a completely decrepit slum type apartment. It is also unlikely that by this stage even the most complacent girl friend would continue to be co-habiting with him in reasonably good humour. However this introduction is quickly left behind, and what follows is primarily a series of sexual couplings carried out by these two actors with both their bodies covered in paint. Without the paint and the artistic theme, this part of the film would probably, with good reason, be regarded as mildly pornographic. It takes more than this to create a successful movie. The ability to simulate any type of physical or emotional activity is part of the art of acting, and I personally see no reason why a simulated sex scene should turn an indifferent comedy into a successful sex comedy. Also, whilst most sex comedies attempt to display nude bodies in a voluptuous manner, a painted body is no longer nude -it may be as well covered as one that has been clothed in exotic fabrics by one of today's leading fashion designers, and it often has much less erotic appeal. In this sense there is relatively little full nudity in this film and I do not believe its producers visualised it as a sex comedy or nudity as its key feature. Rather I believe that they had a wider message in mind. Is it not primarily a satirical comment on the way in which modern art shows, and even major galleries, often promote garbage because they are afraid that it may be important art which they have failed to appreciate? One does not have to go too far to see a pile of bricks casually unloaded onto a white board, or a surface covered by paint which was essentially thrown at it from a distance, being promoted as a modern artistic masterpiece. If the true aim of this film was to parody this type of situation, then it would indeed be a somewhat unsuccessful, but important, artistic work in its own right.
In the meantime I fully agree with an earlier comment that it is a great pity Kari Wuhrer has been ignored as a major actress by most of the major film studios. Whatever she is wearing, her very mobile facial expressions can make her into an extremely erotic actress, and this will probably remain true even when she reaches old age. It will be a long time before I forget the scene where she has a can of paint flung over her and initially experiences the inevitable rush of rage and disgust. Her artist partner approaches her and with loving fingers begins to play with the pattern of the paint on her body. Within a few seconds her rage and disgust visibly fade away and are replaced by her love for her partner and her amusement at his stupidity. I believe it was an outstanding achievement for her to show this transition as realistically as she does in this film. Please let us see more of her.
As for this film, I repeat that in my view its promoters had serious intentions and did not feature nudity simply to provide eye candy for the viewer. However, as it was released, I can only regard it as no better than a screen version of a typical Harlequin romance - it is quite easy watching, but has no substance.