Visually beautiful, but sunk by terrible direction & acting
ELEGANCE should have been a classic of Victorian era erotica, but instead the pretentious director Nicholas Steele makes all the wrong moves. Later moving on to large-scale parodies, this attempt at serious filmmaking has the balance shifted towards all style/no substance. Presumption in the industry that only the sexual content matters, gussied up here by a lavish look, is preposterous -execution of a solid story and characters is what can differentiate the sex footage from millions of meters of other generic porn out there.
Overwritten script by "Scarlett Fever" posits a truly jaded 19th Century French painter Gustave, listlessly sort of enacted by star Joey Ray with a crummy accent, who's seen so many pretty but vapid models he's lost his mojo. His pal and apparent (script is loose on this point) business partner Justin Magnum tries to reinvigorate Gustave in his work, but it isn't until he hears the strains of lovely neighbor Johanna's cello playing that Gustave perks up again. Johanna is played by Vanessa Lane, very pretty and agile in sex scenes, but a poor actress whose accent keeps changing and who doesn't even try to bow as if actually playing her instrument.
What transpires from here is a shame, since we have all the makings of Romance with a capital R and fabulous trappings of indoor & outdoor settings plus glorious costuming and hairdos on the women that could have generated a Victorian classic. Instead there is a rush to sex footage, actresses talking dirty, men in anachronistic 100 years later costuming and no real connection between the pro players having explicit sex.
Manuel Ferrara shows up briefly to hump Lane in the kitchen and give her a sloppy facial in an absurdly "grafted on filler" sequence. All of the women are attractive, including Faith Leon as Johanna's bitchy model sister Bridgette and Jezebelle Bond as Gustave's main squeeze, yesterday's model. Nikki Nievez provides the huge breasts component. Main twist of the story is really cornball (I won't give it away here), and Steele has so poorly structured his film that the final anti-climactic outdoor sex scene between Magnum and Leon just ends the movie arbitrarily without any sense of closure or completion - just pulling the plug on it. To call the end result mindless would be paying it an unearned complliment.
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