A mysterious unseen woman, named Alexandra, keeps a watchful eye over three former men in her life and their current wives and girlfriends. Alexandra eventually contacts each woman to remind them about her knowledge of their sordid pasts. Diana tries to hide the fact from her new husband, Cliff, about her past life as a porno actress. Pat tries to hide the fact from her husband Martin about her current affair with her boss to further advance her own career. Jennifer, the young second wife of Foster, tries to hide the fact that she married Foster for his money while carrying on with her former boyfriend. Written by
Amazingly well-directed by the uneven Tim McDonald (whose best work includes TALK DIRTY TO ME PART 2 and PLAY ME AGAIN, VANESSA) and produced by legendary David Friedman, ALEXANDRA represents an unusually ambitious approach to porn, a sexed-up rendition of Joe Mankiewicz's delectably ironic melodrama A LETTER TO THREE WIVES no less. What may be most surprising of all is just how close to the source material this version actually stays, faithfully transposing characters and situations from the original to the fornication film format.
Hollywood legends Ann Sothern, Linda Darnell and Jeanne Crain as the titular 3 wives have been replaced by their adult industry counterparts Rachel Ashley (billed as "Ashley Summer"), the late Lauren Wilde (perhaps better known under her "Tina Ross" alias) and Joanna Storm respectively. Each of them excels at playing an upper middle class (and desperate ?) suburban housewife who secretly harbors a skeleton in her closet. The frequently heard yet never more than glimpsed Alexandra (Eve Sternberg for the body, voice over narration by Stephanie Rogers), a childhood acquaintance of their husbands, threatens to expose all of their dirty little secrets as she so helpfully informs them over the phone the very day the three of them are due for a charity picnic. She also announces that she will leave their lives for good that same evening, taking one of their better halves with her ! The ladies' guilty reminiscences make for the movie's many exciting erotic episodes.
Devoted secretary Rachel Ashley (the unforgettable and justly award-winning lead from Ed Brown's magnificent EVERY WOMAN HAS A FANTASY) dallies with her slimy employer Michael Gaunt (excellent in Roger Watkins' thought-provoking American BABYLON) who casually introduces a very aggressive Sharon Kane for surplus steam. Subsequently, she has a terrific gender-reversal "sorry, I forgot our anniversary" fireplace fling with husband Eric Edwards. Spoiled Lauren Wilde (who casually stole Hans Christian's TOMBOY from supposed star Melanie Scott) was rescued from the wrong side of the tracks by wealthy businessman Bob Kerman (a/k/a "R. Bolla") but continues carrying on sordid affairs with the likes of Ashley Moore. Prim 'n' proper, butter wouldn't melt in her mouth Joanna Storm will do anything to keep her man (handsome Steven Douglas, who played Gina Gianetti's brother in Bill Milling's original ALL American GIRLS) from finding out about her porno past.
Fornicating on film may be these people's primary talent, as per popular (mis)conception, but their acting surely runs a very close second. Beautiful Wilde, who was killed in a car crash at the height of her popularity, pretty much steals the whole picture as the conniving gold-digger who belatedly discovers her genuine affection for the man she opportunistically wed. Storm and Ashley, both in the early stages of their astronomical careers (the latter clearly hadn't even settled on a stage name yet), already showed considerable promise, made good on by their eventual exploits. Larry Revene contributes his customary sterling camera work in a rare job for a filmmaker other than Chuck Vincent. Only a slightly cheap-sounding synthesizer music score lets the side down somewhat. But for screenplay, snappy dialog, thespian achievement and, oh yes, scalding sex, adult movies don't come a whole lot better than this.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?