Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Peaches and Cream (1981)

My initial plan was to point out Peaches and Cream the title has nothing to do with Peaches and Cream the film, and wonder if the reason Robert McCallum didn't call it Sunny was because Warren Evans had released a Candida Royalle-helmed picture titled so two years prior. But then, the more I considered the film, the more I wondered if the title wasn't actually well-considered irony rather than a titillating wink, evoking fresh and sweet farm girls (doubled down on the poster). While we're shown protagonist Sunny (Annette Haven) as a sweet farm girl, via flashback, in the opening scene, Peaches and Cream is about Sunny's search for meaning and connection and how her life is anything but. The thing is, the theme is (sort of) hinted at through the first two thirds of the movie, but not specified until Sunny talks with her therapist (Aaron Stewart).

On a spectrum of "harsh" to "charitable" it could be argued that McCallum's direction and Haven's performance were "unfocused" to "nuanced". Since I like the oeuvre of both, I'll opt for the latter, though the nuance is too much by half.

Over the course of the film, we see Sunny: on the farm with her drunk and abusive stepfather Will (Dale Meador) and her loving boyfriend Tom (Jon Martin); with oil company-owning client Ted (Paul Thomas), who continually tries to convince her to join his business; rescue and mentor street prostitute Deborah (Tigr); in a session with her client/therapist; rebuke asshole porn producer Jerry (Hal Freeman); and ultimately - after returning to the farm she left - leave her "manager" David (unfortunately uncredited; the character and performance were great) and her career. (By "see" I don't mean "see fucking" since there's no sex with Will, Jerry, or David. Just so that's clear.)

Call it the Cry for Cindy effect, but my opinion of the film improved the more I thought about it. It would almost certainly benefit from repeated viewings and at less than 80 minutes (oh baby, you're speaking my language!), it's a great candidate. With the exception of the second hardcore scene (Sandra Martin, Sparky Vasc, and Mike Horner), the sex was well-integrated, and I can almost guarantee Robert Rimmer's gonna point out how it was often "caring" or "with feeling". In fact, let's see what he does have to say:

This is an adult film with class. [The sex scenes] are all romantic and caring and believable. Most women will identify with Annette.

"Romantic and caring and believable." Vintage Rimmer! The only thing he got objectively wrong was claiming that Annette Haven "plays in all the sex scenes," when she is most definitely not in the Martin/Vasc/Horner threeway or the (admittedly brief) encounter between Holly McCall and Neal Grace. Still, she does the film's heavy lifting, that's for sure.

In the review for Cry for Cindy I said, "I wouldn't be surprised if [it] really improves with multiple viewings (but not the sex scenes, I'm positive of that). So, I'll give a solid CC50." I feel much the same way about Peaches and Cream (although here the sex scenes were fine to very good), so I'm rating a CC25.


° In the wake of my "research" into when Sharon Kane phased out her pseudonyms, I was amused by Rimmer's take on names: The only question this film raises is why does Chelsea Manchester, Tigr, Chelsea McClane (all one and the same woman who has a naive schoolgirl quality use so many different names?

° I wonder if Jerry B. Hershey was modeled after an actual pornographer. The way he was an egomaniacal blowhard and his sunglasses and cigar look seemed super specific.

° I've always wondered what Dale Meador's deal is. It seems like he was tight with the Mitchell brothers. He was a capable character actor (for porn anyway), although it's too bad about his grody teeth. Same thing applies to Frederick Foster (both traits), though I'm surprised Foster's credits are only four titles long.... Maybe I have an inflated sense of his career since I've seen Pandora's Mirror and Roommates multiple times apiece.


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