30 January 2005 | scotthumphries
Turgid marital melodrama aspires to soft-core titilation
This unintentionally amusing mid-80s TV movie is based on the premise that sex bomb Donna Mills (in a mostly appalling wardrobe throughout) is a neglected housewife, pining for her sexy past as a cheerleader. She escapes her empty life by fantasising about random sexual encounters with one of the many attractive men she comes across, finally giving into her fantasies and indulging in a bit on the side, although all she really wants is to reignite the flames of passion with her boring husband James Brolin.
There are many laughable aspects to this film, Mills' first foray into co-producing (later, following her departure from Knots Landing, she found great success as a trashy TV movie queen starring in mostly issue-of-the-week melodramas through most of the '90s - she usually played a victim of some sort, clearly determined to wash her hands of the wonderfully wicked and entertaining conniver she played for so long on Knots). Funniest are the drawn-out fantasy sequences, filmed as though they are meant to be soft-core porn (wind and smoke machines, backlighting, porno music), but as this is a network TV movie the scenes are all very chaste and ultimately not very sexy at all. The most amusing (and bizarre) scene has Mills taking a walk on the wild side downtown among the spiky-haired punks (complete with Robert Palmer soundtrack).
Less laughable is the dreadful dialogue that the cardboard characters are forced to utter (pity poor Cicely Tyson as the mandatory psycho-analyst, or Veronica Cartwright as the mandatory best friend, or even pre-Babs James Brolin with that daytime soap style of clenched fist anger.)
Of course, as in all of these sorts of films, we learn that all problems can be solved through psycho-therapy and then the film just becomes silly, as we explore, briefly, the reasons for Mills' "shocking" behaviour (as if it can't just be that she wants a good shag!)