Saturday, January 16, 2021

Rendezvous With Anne (1973)

When Anne Stewart is paged at an airport, three women named "Anne Stewart" meet at the counter. (Well, technically, four: the last Anne to show up, a grandmother, was the one the desk agent was trying to reach.) Struck by the coincidence of their names, they decide to get some coffee and they discuss their reasons for visiting San Francisco and agree to meet again two weeks later at the end of their trips.

It's a fine premise, but is dragged down by poor pacing, C- (charitably) student film-level direction, and acting that smacked of the first meeting of an Improv 101 class. Lisa Troy (who also sang the earworm of a theme song) was the best of the lot. Keri Carpenter started, stopped, and redirected the way a four year old tells a story. And Cazander Zim (what a name!) had the awkward, outsider delivery of a character in the world of Tim & Eric.

Each of the Anne Stewarts has her own arc: Lisa Troy's connects with an old lover, Keri Carpenter's loses her virginal innocence, and Cazander Zim's (seriously, what a name!) comes to terms with her husband's infidelity by tapping into her own sexuality.

The hardcore is relatively well integrated, and mostly noteworthy because the scenes are definitely not simulated and yet there isn't a cumshot to be found in the entire film. I don't think I've ever seen an adult film fitting that criteria. While the action overall is pedestrian at best, two scenes are worth mentioning: Lisa Troy's first scene, with a man she met in an art gallery after his homosexual lover broke up with him. The two do some day drinking, discuss his failed attempt at a heterosexual relationship, take a nap, and screw. The brief discussion of sexuality and masculinity was impressively nuanced and the actors were able to capture the feeling of taking a buzzed mid-afternoon nap and the awkward excitement of a first time together in bed.

The other was Keri Carpenter's post-deflowering girl/girl encounter. The film school experimentation worked out, with the audio of Carpenter explaining the sensations of building to and achieving orgasm she experienced when her first-time lover taught her how her clit worked playing under the women getting it on.

The goofy ernestness and unintentionally funny moments kept reminding me of The Room. So much so, I started to think of co-writer, producer, and director Lowell Pickett as a 1970s porn Tommy Wisseau.

Whether or not that's accurate at all, Pickett's a fascinating character and The Rialto Report's piece on him (and Arlene Elster) is worth a read.

Let's see what Robert Rimmer had to say:

It is a small classic of the genre. All of the one-to-one sex scenes are friendly, conversational and caring.... Women will like it - the female dialogue is believable and the women are prettily average.

Excepting that backhanded compliment at the end, I get where he's coming from. As far as errors, Rimmer refers to the girl/girl scene I mentioned above as being "between two of the Annes" whereas there was only one Anne (Carpenter) involved.

If the acting was better or if I hadn't watched it after three consecutive top-tier films, I may have been more charitable with it. Since that's not the case, though, I'm going to have to rate it a CC250, not coincidentally right in league with Thoroughly Amorous Amy.

° I really dig the word "orgiers":

° The only actors with double digit performer credits appear in that orgy: Valerie Franklin, Ken Scudder, and Valerie Franklin (who, herself, only had 12 flicks in her filmography). As far as the Annes, Rendezvous with was Troy's and Carpenter's only film, and Zim only appeared in two others (one of which was another Lowell Pickett picture).


Next in line (which I sure hope I enjoy more than this film...):

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