1 June 2000 | The_Movie_Cat
"Eternity sounds great, don't get me wrong
it's just that it takes up so much of your time"
Truly when it comes to film, the marriage of the words "TV" and "Movie" are a match rarely to be made in Heaven. While the occasional historical work or a Dennis Potter play may arouse interest, in 99% of cases the television movie attracts the sort of disdain normally reserved for the close proximity of the word "Police" with "Academy".
Goddess of Love is no different. To be honest, I only looked in on this one to see Little Richard as the camp cameo Alphonso. What unravels is a story where a hairdresser, Ted (David Naughton) has to choose between his fiancé, Cathy (Amanda Bearse, the neighbour from Married... With Children) and the goddess of love herself, Venus. Of course, it doesn't help matters that Venus is woefully wooden in the hands of Vanna White, or that Ted's best friend Jimmy is also lacking in the tv actordom of David Leisure. Yet there's something endearingly awful about this film. It knows it's a worthless piece of junk made on a budget of 5 cents to fill an afternoon's schedule. There's a real sense of earnest desperation as everyone involved knows what a low-grade movie they're involved in, and are determined to overact in order to be noticed.
Astonishingly, Leisure was noticed, and went on to appear in many films, including 10 Things I Hate About You, Dogmatic and The Brady Bunch Movie. The best performance comes from Philip Baker Hall as Detective Charles. Much too good for this sort of thing, Hall has appeared in 60 films to date, including high-profiles excursions like Midnight Run, Boogie Nights, The Truman Show and Enemy of the State. The decision to cast non-actors in roles is brave, in fairness. White was, I understand, a co-host on the American version of "Wheel of Fortune". Though while she does okay-ish for a quiz host, Little Richard shames 90% of the "actors" here with a great turn as Alphonso. In fact, you can't help but feel if he'd had a bigger role the movie might have been more watchable. His effeminate tone and utterly unique phrasing of words virtually steals the show. Mind you, if he had stole such a lame film, I'm sure he'd have given it back afterwards. His performance leaves just one unanswered question: what happened to him? We see a vengeful Venus take him angrily in a room threatening to do terrible things to his person. Yet that's the last we see of him. I think we should at least be told, with Goddess of Love 2: The Alphonso Story. He deserves it.