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  Second Time Lucky Would You Adam And Eve It?
Year: 1984
Director: Michael Anderson
Stars: Diane Franklin, Roger Wilson, John Gadsby, Robert Helpmann, Robert Morley, John Michael Howson, William Ewens, Eunice Ewens, Erna Larsen, John Hudson, Gay Dean, Brenda Kendall, Onno Boelee, Paul Owen-Lowe, Derek Payne, Norman Fairley, David Weatherley
Genre: Comedy, Romance, FantasyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: God (Robert Morley) receives a call from his old adversary, the Devil (Robert Helpmann) on the subject of a new wager. God is intrigued as Satan suggests taking a fresh look at this whole Adam and Eve thing and trying it all over again, and after a short muse on the possibilities the Supreme Being agrees that this is a splendid idea. But who are the hapless couple who will be their playthings? Look no further than Adam (Roger Wilson) and Evelyn, known as Eve (Diane Franklin), down on Earth and negotiating a party. It's Adam's house, but he's not really joining in with the end of term celebrations, and Eve has been coaxed into going by her friends. When the two meet by chance, there's an immediate attraction which is almost as swiftly sabotaged by Adam spilling his beer over Eve. Yet God and the Devil will soon be ensuring the couple live up to their namesakes...

As far as cult starlets go, Diane Franklin is one of the minor ones: she only made a few films in the eighties, but they were enough to fix her in the minds of a generation of film fans, well, some of them at least. Her best known film was probably Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure where she played a princess, but in Second Time Lucky viewers could see a whole lot more of her and by that I mean that she played the role of the Biblical Eve completely stark raving naked. Her co-star, Roger Wilson, was equally nude, but as a rule this film was curiously sexless, preferring to take a goofy and romantic approach to what was presumably hoped to be a tale for the ages.

The film was sort of a lovestruck version of Mel Brooks' History of the World Part One, only made in New Zealand and England with imported American leads. Naturally such a hodgepodge should by rights end up appealling to no one, and sure enough those who admit to enjoying Second Time Lucky, with its gameshow-style title, are few and far between. The narrative blithely travels down time, placing its central characters in various historically important settings while the Devil hopes that Eve will seduce Adam and God hopes otherwise. The Lord has sent Gabriel (John Gadsby) to give advice to Adam whenever it looks as if he's in need of it, but curiously the mortal flits between awareness of the bigger picture and outright naivety, without explanation.

If the filmmakers were worth their salt then they might have introduced a theological theme to the proceedings: why does God place the Tree of Knowledge in such easy reach of the first humans? If He knows all, then why should He be surprised when Adam and Eve take bites of the forbidden apples? That sort of thing. As it is, the plot of the Eden segment simply rehashes the ancient tale with little embellishment and with Franklin undeniably decorative, it appears to be just an excuse to part the actress from her clothes. The later sequences have her disrobing too, only not quite to the same extent as Eve tempts Adam in Roman times, World War One France, roaring twenties, gangster-ridden Chicago and present day, but painfully eighties Australia where Adam is now a rock star. Better in it's breezy silliness than in its attempts to be serious about love, the kindest you can say about Second Time Lucky is that it's a harmless piece of fluff. Music by Garry McDonald and Laurie Stone.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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