Monday, July 31, 2017

Alice Goodbody (1974)



A grungy sex comedy about a busty young woman sleeping her way to stardom, Alice Goodbody has a few elements that are almost respectable. For instance, the running gags are constructed properly, and some of the inside jokes have bite, such as the implied dig at famed costume designer Edith Head. That said, too many of writer-director Tom Scheuer’s zingers fall flat, leading leady Colleen Brennan’s performance is monotonously dippy, and the whole enterprise is inherently sleazy. One day in a Hollywood diner, chipper Alice (played by porn star Brennan, billed as Sharon Kelly) meets Myron (Daniel Kauffman), the “second assistant production manager” on a musical version of Julius Caesar. He offers her a bit part in exchange for a BJ, setting up the central joke that Alice views trading sexual favors as a normal aspect of paying her dues. Even later in the story, after servicing half the crew, she’s still bubbly and friendly. Make your own call whether this is grotesque male fantasy or sly Hollywood satire. Most of the movie comprises sex scenes featuring Alice and eccentric lovers. One guy is a food freak who gets off on sloppy gluttony; another is a narcissist who spends his entire encounter with Alice admiring himself in a mirror. The weirdest scene involves a germaphobe whose pre-coital examination of Alice’s body occasions a POV camera angle from inside her vagina. (It’s not as gross as it sounds, but it’s startling.) The climax of the picture, and the closest Scheuer gets to a real human moment, depicts Alice’s tryst with the movie’s belching, farting, self-loathing slob of a producer—despite Alice’s best efforts to rouse him, he complains that he’s bored by having been overly entitled for too long. It’s not the deepest of moments, but it’s something. As for the Edith Head bit, one of Alice’s lovers is a lesbian costume designer who buries her face in Alice’s skirt during a fitting. Given how gossip about Sapphic inclinations dogged Head for years, the character suggests Scheuer was a steeped in Hollywood lore. Less defensible is the scene of a woman playing “Oh, Susanna” on harmonica. Instead of her mouth, she uses her genitals to play the instrument.

Alice Goodbody: LAME

3 comments:

Steven Thompson said...

Sigh...And Kelly/Brennan was generally one of the best when it came to actual line reading acting in soft and even hard X films. Such a cute poster, too. Ah, well.

Mike Doran said...

Fun Facts!:

Recently I took delivery on a book titled The Adventures Of The REAL Tom Sawyer, by the long-time showrunner of Murder, She Wrote.

It seems that Mr. Sawyer's birth name is Thomas Scheuer.
He's the writer-director of this picture - and it was not long after this that he Anglicized his name; 'Scheuer' is a German name, pronounced 'SHOY-er', from which 'Sawyer' is a natural progression, sort of.

Mr. Sawyer/Scheuer - oh, the hell with it, Tom - devotes an entire chapter of his lengthy memoir to the making of Alice Goodbody, which he writes up in largely positive terms - it was after all his entry point into "professional movie-making", so there too.

The book is available from BearManor Media, and be warned - it's a bit pricey, but worth it (at least I think so).
If you're in an Amazon-shopping mood, you can also look up the novels of Thomas B. Sawyer, which is what he's doing lately (since he aged out of the TV business).

Cindylover1969 said...

Thanks to Mike Doran about letting me about Mr. Sawyer - I noticed his name back when he was story editor on B.J. and the Bear; I might hunt down that book!

Imagine if it had been Eileen Brennan instead of Colleen.