6.6/10
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Love Letters: A Romantic Trilogy (2001)

R | | Drama, Romance
A writer, working on her new book, looks inside and to her friends for exciting stories about their personal and sexual lives. What she discovers is more erotic and emotional than she ... See full summary »

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Credited cast:
...
Cindy
Brian Frank ...
Gary
Norma Jean Jones ...
Suzanne
Albert Caverlin ...
Joseph
Meeka Schiro ...
Michelle (as Meeka Majic)
Deanna Dezmari ...
Estelle (as Deanna Dizadji)
Matt Hummel ...
Stephen
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...
Editor / Boss
Tony Basile ...
Derek
John Connolly ...
Gas attendant
Jay Ould ...
The Producer
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A writer, working on her new book, looks inside and to her friends for exciting stories about their personal and sexual lives. What she discovers is more erotic and emotional than she imagined. Written by <devinscott@mail.com>

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Drama | Romance

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R
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Above average erotic compilation skilfully infused with a modicum of intelligence
25 November 2003 | by See all my reviews

A Canadian production, directed and written by Frank Caruso. The film is divided into 3 separate stories, supposedly of love. The operative word for each of the stories might in fact be lust, or self-discovery as in the first two stories.

The overall production of the film isn't too bad given that the budget was small and the actors relatively unknown with the exception of the ever sexy Kathy Shower who not only stars in the 3rd segment 'Once Upon a Flame', but also co-produced the overall movie. That said, parts of the movie are a little wooden and seem a tad forced but overall the script is tight and the characters reasonably well defined and one cannot help but get to know them as real people. There is also a certain rawness to the reality of the movie that makes it seem almost like watching a documentary which ironically adds a modicum of sensuality and bare eroticism to the whole affair. This is especially true in the first and second instalments where the sex scenes (and there are several) are almost voyeuristic thus adding a sexual charge to them, if you like that sort of thing.

I don't know if it was a deliberate attempt or an accidental result, but if the movie has anything, it is an almost restrained intelligence lurking beneath the surface. This intelligence juxtaposed with semi-realistic sex makes for very sexy and almost thought provoking viewing. The viewer can only be drawn into the scenes no matter how hesitant their reaction to the movie initially. I'm reminded of the 2nd instalment concerning the freelance art critic. It makes for a good lesbian vampire flick in the truest sense of the word, although quite literally it was not. There were no fangs or special effects but the overwhelmingly pervading feeling of one personality invading another in a purely sexual way..yet in a reasonably restrained manner so as not to 'peak too soon' made for compulsive viewing from start to finish. What made this segment was the genius move allowing one woman realise her undiscovered bi-sexual/lesbian sexuality instead of just having two lesbians go at it which would have been pure porn.

This instead was calculated eroticism.

Another scene to watch for in segment one, is the alleyway scene where struggling writer attempts sex with the lap dancer he's walking home. This scene would have been funny had it not been so tragic, yet it was this very same feeling of tragedy flowing through the viewers mind that conflicts with the viewers feelings of lust for same lap dancer. It's as if the intelligence of the scene is transposed into the mind of the viewer and in doing so generates an even greater frenzy of eroticism for the scene. This makes for a unique blend of softcore sex skilfully arrested so that it retains enough eroticism to hook the viewer and keep them watching.

So what kind of film is this? Well, it's not your shiny Californian erotic thriller or a cheap sexploitation flick that suddenly produces a disposable plot 30 minutes before the end of the movie so that the sex scenes numbered one to five have something to cleave to. Nor is it pretentious in wanting to be something derived from a reasonably intelligent script. In fact, this intelligence is perhaps it's greatest asset yet it doesn't make the mistake of depending solely on it. Instead, this intelligence works in conjunction with the eroticism of the actors in a way that might appeal to anyone. The intelligence works with the sex and the pre-sex initiations and delivers perhaps more to the viewer than one would usually expect.

In fairness, this is a reasonably well conceived compilation of stories about romance, sex and. dare I say it pain. That's the one word that really springs to mind when I try sum the movie up, pain.but in a strangely entrancing and enticing way. Most of the characters encounter some sort of pain and heartbreak throughout each story. If they didn't there would be no story, perhaps because it's the one thing that makes us all react and then act, and it's this same pain that pushes many of the characters together either directly or indirectly. Out of this same pain come pleasure and then the eroticism.

Would I recommend this film? If you want a quick shallow fix, then I'd say no, and rent/buy yourself the Bikini carwash company or something. If you want something that is sexy and infuses your mind and takes a while to come down off, then I'd say yes, by all means rent it, buy it, watch it. Dare I say it one more time, it's the almost secretive intelligence that pokes you in the ribs now and again that makes you see more than appears on the screen. Nice one.

Note on segment 3 - Once upon a flame. This one, the last of the 3 is strangely removed from the previous two. If the first segment was the mind, and the second the heart, then this, the third must surely be the body. Lacking the same vitality of intelligence as the first two, this one more than makes up for it in the form of Kathy Shower. True, Kathy is looking a little older but further analysis of the phrase 'older' and of the segment in question reveals that in this case older is by no means less sexy as Kathy looks a billion dollars, especially when soaped up in a bath. The storyline is a bit lacklustre but in this case the engine of love and sensuality is powered by Miss Shower and the semi-voyeuristic scene in which she turns the tables on and consumes her assailant by making love to him rather than running from the room screaming is very hot. Very few actresses might have pulled this off, but Kathy did and it was chiefly due to her age and experience transposed into that of the character she plays that is responsible for this memorable scene. True, Kathy is not the greatest of actress's but She does have an undeniable quality in conjunction with her stunning beauty that very few other actress's will ever obtain. One criticism I would have in Kathy's case, is that she might have been utilised more, this is Kathy Shower after all, but then again maybe I'm just being selfish, and as they say, a hot movie should always leave you wanting more.

Catch it if you can.


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