All There Is (2002)

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8 February 2016 | lor_
A trifle, but quite an interesting one
I'm reviewing the work of writer & director David Stanley, and this forgotten title ("All There Is") proved to be quite intriguing. It's short (73 minutes) and deceptively simple, but turns out to be a perceptive portrait of a woman's life from teenage through age 80-plus.

Like the British XXX movies of late, it's staged as a pantomime, with the heroine Raylene's character Sara narrating. Each decade of her life is presented as a separate segment, her Twenties thru Eighties, and is built around a clever recurring structural device of her sitting abstractly in a claustrophobic hallway at home, blowing out increasingly large numbers of candles on a birthday cake.

Many of the segments are comical but with panache and a sorrowful overall tone, since Stanley's theme is the poetic (Robert Frost) one of roads not taken and life passing one by, unfulfilled. In all ways not your typical porn movie, and all the better for it.

Of course this Vivid DVD release packs in the explicit sex, with not only the hot-hot-hot Raylene center stage but inimitable Brianna Banks putting in her two cents as a nurse well-trained in the art of deep-throat. Daisy Chain and April are also accorded a quality lesbian scene.

The usual male studs do a good job, including Randy Spears as a comical home-improvement TV host getting to hump Felicia Fox in an elaborate kitchen. That rare beastie, a character actor making a living in porn (non- sex division) Frank Bukkwyd pulls faces well as Raylene's old-fart of a husband.

The aging process has Raylene coming full circle, at first recalling her granny and then becoming the granny to Eloise (her dual role) when she gets old. During a couple of transition decades Rubee Tuesday appears as the middle- Raylene (50s & 60s).

Stanley concludes his film on a mystical note, a wonderful ending and indicative of his spiritual bent that was to be displayed in all its oddball glory in his magnum opus from a decade ago, "Melt".

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