A young woman goes home to New York after a long stay in Europe. Her former schoolmate introduces her to the decadence of New York and she ultimately falls in love with an older man who's a stand-in for her father, before tragedy strikes.
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January Wayne, the sheltered, much-loved daughter of a formerly successful Hollywood producer, goes home to New York after a lengthy stint in a Swiss hospital. Mike Wayne has fallen on hard times and decides to marry for money. January is an innocent young woman who searches for her place in the world. Pursued by her rich new stepmother's playboy of a cousin, she instead falls hard for a much older man, a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer who's a surrogate for her father, before tragedy strikes.
If you happen to catch this movie, it could easily be mistaken for the pilot episode of an 80's prime-time soap. How the producers thought that anyone would seriously pay good money to watch this midday made-for-TV movie at the theater is incredibly hilarious.
Kirk Douglas surprisingly headlines this incestuous melodrama where his daughter January (Deborah Raffin) harbors some sort of daddy-complex since the day she was born. I would have loved to have sat through a theater screening of this and observed the faces of the audience around me. I don't know if I would have seen smirks or looks of discomfort, like someone shouldn't have eaten those bad tacos for lunch.
The movie is very outdated. It's lifted right from a Jacqueline Susann novel (or basically take your pick from any Harlequin read) and plays out just like it on the small screen. Most of the close-ups are shot through a filter, the soundtrack is hijacked by Henry Mancini's orchestrated strings, and all the actresses parade themselves with such high camp you'll find it hard not to fall in love with this atrocity.
Most hilarious is January's attraction to David Janssen's character. Talk about taking the daddy-complex to the next level! Brenda Vaccaro who received an Oscar nomination(!!!) for her portrayal of a man-hungry sex-starved magazine editor is absolutely stunning. She delivered plain awful dialog with perfect snap, "He laid me, and then he fired me!" and also managing to keep a straight face at the same time, she definitely deserved the nomination.
The best line comes out of the mouth of Douglas' long-suffering housekeeper, Mabel (Lillian Randolph), "For twelve years, it's just been a parade of poon-tang!", as she boards the bus to Santa Monica.
Throw in a closeted lesbian millionaire engaging in a secret relationship with a reclusive Hispanic actress (where else could you view an interracial middle-aged lesbian sex scene!!), gratuitous shots of Gary Conway (portraying an astronaut LOL!) running in short shorts on a beach and Deborah Raffin staring blankly into the camera as if she were doped on percosets, and you have the ultimate camp classic of 1975.
There was a scene with Raffin's character walking blankly across the road (nearly getting run over by a taxi) after she is devastated by Janssen's character, and yet I still could not determine any difference in her acting from that scene to the entire film.
Vaccaro is definitely the one thing that holds this movie together, although her character isn't necessary to the story. She seemed to express more personality than all of the other characters combined that it was a joy to watch her self-diagnosing, "Sleeping with men makes me feel better!" It made me feel better too.
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