Five husbands, five ex-wives, five anonymous stories during poker night. They are seducing construction workers, being raped by a hygienist and a dentist, seducing guys in a porno theater, being a dominatrix and a would-be porn star.
At a divorce court, aspiring actress Dolly and her stand-up comedian beau Lenny relate their diametrically opposed versions of how their once loving relationship reached breaking point and whose fault it is.
Just prior to his psycho-sexual period with the Anne Randall scripts leading to such instant carnal classics such as SCOUNDRELS, NEON NIGHTS and SNAKE EYES, "Cecil Howard" a/k/a Howard Winters crafted what many still consider his finest film ever. PLATINUM PARADISE is basically a wall to wall fornication marathon with a cute premise about an inept operator at a phone message company (the tremendously sweet Kandi Barbour) mixing up messages and matching the wrong people with sometimes hilarious yet always hot results. Just about every sex scene qualifies as an absolute barn burner ! Personal best of show : Vanessa Del Rio (THE quintessential porno diva) and Eric Edwards - whose skills we got to admire in the opener with rich bitch Linda Vale (Lysa Thatcher's double standards mom from NEON NIGHTS) - as call girl and gigolo doing their professional best and then some to please each other.
Plotwise, fellow filmmaker Carter Stevens (billed as "Steven Mitchell") runs a garment company, is married to much younger Christie Ford and has fan favorite Hillary Summers for a wayward daughter. Bug-eyed beauty Ford falls "victim" to another Barbour faux pas and winds up with curly top Marc Valentine (the 'made man' type who got his rear end lovingly seen to by indomitable Annie Sprinkle in her DEEP INSIDE showcase) rather than overburdened punch clock lover Edwards, describing her every lascivious action over the phone to her neglectful husband who's tenderly taken care of at the other end (!) by above and beyond the call of duty secretary Robin Sane a/k/a "Robin Storrs".
In a runner-up for most memorable scene, Hillary's deflowered by her highly skilled ballet teacher, portrayed by an oddly yet effectively cast against type Bobby Astyr whose whimsical sense of humor takes the sting out of this potentially tawdry encounter. Superstar Samantha Fox is a model and occasional deal sweetener for Stevens who balances her professional submission, pleasuring potential buyers Dave Ruby and one shot Rico Estrada, with a dominating private relationship with sweet 'n' vulnerable Merle Michaels. Engrossing power dynamics between these two really makes their Sapphic set-up sizzle. Bumbling Barbour brings up the rear with appreciative Ashley Moore and a cute quote from Howard Hawks' TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT ("You know how to whistle, don't you ? etc.") will leave savvy viewers with a contented smile on their faces.
Howard also happens to be a real filmmaker and it shows in the superb cinematography and editing, easily on a par with US indie productions. He also supplies a fun Hitchcok cameo as the pretend movie director unsuccessfully trying to pick up Vanessa at the bar. How's that for post modern auto reflection ? Hey, I can hold my own with the ivory tower intellectuals who are, after all, used to holding their own... On a personal note, this movie was no instant favorite when I first saw it over a decade ago, when I was still looking for that 'real Hollywood' feel in adult features and not quite appreciative enough of well done raunch. Coming back to it recently, I've had to happily revise my opinion. This is and will always be one of the milestones in American adult movie-making. Lava-hot sex with cinematic craftsmanship combine to make this a permanent fixture in any self-respecting porn fan's private stash.
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