5 September 2018 | lor_
Rom-com from Adult's Golden Age holds up quite well
I saw this Adult feature theatrically when it was new, and sampling it again 38 years later it holds up surprisingly well, playing like a real movie rather than mere porn. The style and craftsmanship of Chuck Vincent is the reason.
Back then I was a film buff who would see virtually all the major studio releases, and "Bon Appetit" was made with production values rivalling if not surpassing those of the usual mainstream movie, that being a period of limited budgets. Flash forward to now and one cannot imagine an XXX movie being produced at this level.
Billed as "introducing", Kelly Nichols is marvelous as the working class girl serving food at Gloria Leonard's posh party, who overhears Ms. L gossiping with her socialite lady friends about the world's greatest lovers, concocting a bet of $250,000 that nobody can bed all these unapporachable men. Kelly butts in and accepts the challenge, with Gloria willing to give her a go, padding her bet by setting a 50-day time limit for the girl to accomplish the task.
A superstar photographer Randy West is forced into tagging along to photograph KN's conquests as proof, and the thrust of the screenplay by Vincent and his assistant Bill Slobodian has the two warring types, snooty West vs. salt of the earth Kelly, ultimately falling in love.
The sexual quest becomes a globe-hopping affair with Vincent shooting on location in NYC, Fire Island, Rome, Paris, Vegas and even what looks like Amsterdam. This footage of West and Nichols on site is very important to make the movie work, especially contrasted with the claustrophobic nature of most porn shoots back then and certainly now.
The acting by both principals, and a peppy supporting cast, creates characters with panache that we can root for, a 3-dimensional approach that Adult Cinema has lost in the gonzo 21st Century. Nichols is both extremely sexy (full bush and all) and most accomplished at the beginning of her career, which later morphed into a crew status doing makeup for innumerable porn shows. West is dashing.
But Vincent's piloting of a terrific ensemble really impresses, almost a who's who of his stock company with brief but effective turns by such as Jack Wrangler, George Payne, Ron Hudd and Roger Caine among the lovers. Superstar Samantha Fox is hot hot hot with Merle Michaels in a brothel threesome featuring Randy, and I even spotted an uncredited Robin Byrd (during her iconic run as top Channel J's Cable Access host in Manhattan) looking fine in a pool sex scene on Fire Island, where a similarly young Kandi Barbour did get a credit.