Incredibly romantic, even among turn of the century Adam & Eve films
Bud Lee and Asia Carrera hit the romantic buttons in "Wildflower", an unusually ethereal Adult movie, even within the body of work Adam & Eve created circa 2000. Though not a major production like "Search for the Snow Leopard" it is still presents a most intriguing contrast to recent hard-edged and cynical porn.
Revelation here is lead Devin Wolf, a journeyman actor who I've seen but never appreciated until watching this performance. He's cast as a gardener, attending to an estate some think is haunted, because owner Asia Carrera hides away upstairs, only peeking from her window to see the outside world. She's been holed up there for 3 years, and the romance unfolds as Devin befriends her and ultimately coaxes her to rejoin society and fall in love with him.
From this thin thread of a plot, talented screenwriter Griffin Mill (I recently watched his excellent Bud Lee movie "Cold Feet", also mega-romantic) spins a strange yarn whose otherworldly mood reminded me of that Audrey Hepburn flop of yore "Green Mansions", but without the big-budget trappings. Since "Mansions" was made by another husband-wife team: Mel Ferrer and Hepburn, it does have a distant connection to this Lee/Carrera labor of love.
Carrera's sensitive, performance of a naif gamine is pretty amazing, while Wolf, given to reciting poetry and flowery prose to her combines a nearly effeminate (wearing two earrings and bleached-blond hairdo) persona with a studly performance as woodsman with the ladies. I can't recall in either porn or mainstream a male performance quite like his in this unfortunately obscure movie.
One surprise, and not a pleasant one, is that Lee cast an amazing roster of femme superstars, but they are wasted somewhat: Stacy Valentine, Jill Kelly, Julie Meadows and the less famous but always reliable T.J. Hart have little to do. In fact, Lee has several flashback montages in which most of the cast appear having sex with Carrera (or each other) but have no actual characters to play. I prefer an ensemble approach -if I want to watch all-sex I won't be choosing these Adam & Eve Romances.
Valentine does have a lesbian sex clinch out by the pool with exotic Peris Bleu to get the show rolling before Asia's entrance, but it's virtually a 2-character drama after that. Familiar faces popping up in cameos include Lee as a night club patron when agoraphobic Carrera, coaxed out on the town, feels everyone in the club is staring at her; Veronica Hart as her mean mom; and George Kaplan as a restaurant maitre d'. Hart's husband Michael Hamilton, who had a solid career as TV cameraman, served as lighting director on the feature.
The editing of the flashbacks is a bit confusing, as Nick East's humping of Carrera seems to be repeated or shredded. He does his thing bareback while condoms are in evidence in the rest of the feature.
Obvious flaws apart, this is a romantic style of filmmaking others aspire to but which Lee, with Carrera's invaluable assistance, has mastered. I wish Griffin Mill (whoever used that pseudonym) had gotten more credit and made more films as writer, as he brings a lot extra to his scripts.
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