The parallel stories of Plato's Retreat, a Manhattan sex club for straight couples that operated from 1977 until the mid 1980s, and of Larry Levenson, the club's impresario. In present-day interviews, Larry's family talks about him, while writers, reporters, and clients talk about the club. Mixed with these interviews are still photographs and archival footage of the club, Larry's appearances on talk shows, and newspaper articles. By the late 70s, the club was in full swing, with talk of Plato's Retreats in other cities. By the end of the decade, tax problems had Larry in trouble with the IRS and changing mores gave the club a different vibe. Then AIDS became an epidemic. Written by
"American Swing" is not about Joe DiMaggio, Reggie Jackson, or even Derek Jeter. However, it is about another New York basher who had one hell of a swing, but no baseballs needed here. He would be Larry Levenson, the impresario of the famed New York heterosexual Swingers club "Plato's Retreat". "American Swing" orgies its way dickimentary, I mean documentary style, in its telling of Levenson's New York sexual staple which ran from 1979-1985 and also on his obsession on being the "King of Swing". Directors Jon Hart & Matthew Kaufman do a credible job in presenting the zaniness of the Plato period by interviewing many Plato players including: managers, patrons, employees, and even celebrities that would take a swing at Plato from time to time. Their Plato philosophies & storytelling is the rouser of "American Swing"! On the negative swing of things, the doc also presents the downfall of Levenson and "Plato's Retreat". "Plato's Retreat" will never be a historic landmark but it laid (had to use "laid" sooner or later) the foundation of the Swingers Heterosexual Sex Club Enterprise which, whether you like it or not, have been erecting from year to year in our country and are here to stay. It might not be for everyone in the household, but I say "take a swing" at the entertaining documentary "American Swing". **** Good
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