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  And God Created Woman Give Her A Break
Year: 1988
Director: Roger Vadim
Stars: Rebecca De Mornay, Vincent Spano, Frank Langella, Donovan Leitch, Judith Chapman, Jamie McEnnan, Benjamin Mouton, Dave Shelley, Eisntein Brown, David López, Thelma Houston, Gail Boggs, Dorian Sanchez, María Duval, Lee Ann Martin, Kenny Ortega
Genre: Drama, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: Robin Shea (Rebecca De Mornay) is a prison inmate in a desert jail where she dreams of escaping, so today realises that dream as she sneaks onto the wall of the compound and as a delivery truck drives below, jumps onto its roof. Unnoticed, she hangs on to the vehicle as it travels further away from the prison, managing to jump off when it slows to pass another truck, and after she has hidden in the brush she stops a limousine going her way. Inside is James Tiernan (Frank Langella), who she is unaware is running for Governor of the state, and he persuades her to return to imprisonment if he can do her a favour...

Quite why director Roger Vadim thought it was a good idea to remake the movie which allowed him to explode Brigitte Bardot onto the world thirty years before is something of a mystery, but then you watch it and realise aside from the title it had very little to do with the original, playing out an entirely different story altogether. That's not to say they had nothing in common, as there was one aspect they shared and that was a blonde bombshell in their leading roles, though Rebecca De Mornay, while having her fans, was nowhere near as influential as Bardot was, and films such as this were part of the reason why her impact never topped her earliest hit, Risky Business.

She had the looks and was willing on this evidence to do nudity, but there was no getting away with the fact this movie was sorely lacking in anything but cheese, of which it had an abundance. Her Robin is intent on becoming a rock star when she is released, and De Mornay shows off an impressive vocal which indicates she could have branched out into a pop career, although oddly the first we hear of her trilling is when she does a duet with Thelma Houston of Don't Leave Me This Way fame, which does overshadow Rebecca somewhat. And precisely what Thelma did to get imprisoned is not elucidated upon, most of the movie caught up with Robin's experiences outside.

Though not before she sneaks back in and in the process of stripping off to put on a prison uniform is interrupted by a handyman, Billy Moran (Vincent Spano), who hides her under the gymnasium bleachers, then when the coast is clear gets suddenly amorous with the naked (er, apart from shoes and socks) woman, offering us the first sex scene of a few. The hapless Billy is one of the men to come under Robin's spell, well, one of two men, the other being Tiernan who agrees to let her go on parole if she marries someone respectable, and the carpenter fits the bill. But no sooner has she moved in with him, quickie wedding accompanied by a synthesised "Here Comes the Bride" on a convenient ghetto blaster, than she is sleeping on the couch.

Much against Billy's wishes, he having thought that their steamy first meeting should really have continued a sexual relationship when she is more interested in getting her band together to play light electro-rock and cod reggae, of which there is more than there are of the sex scenes. Not that this is a musical, it's just that there's less sequences of passionate encounters than the era might have led you to expect, though it's really no better than the likes of Nine 1/2 Weeks which somehow was a huge hit when this languished in obscurity, aside from the bad movie gurus paying it a little attention. It was true the part where Robin seduces Tiernan at his ranch while his wife is away for the evening was almost embarrassing in its depiction of what Vadim believed erotic, though watching it now there is an added layer of unintentional humour - you half expect Langella to lift De Mornay above his head as if weight training - but much of this came across as her plea for a recording contract. At least the heroine was a woman succeeding on her own terms, as opposed to Kim Basinger's doormat.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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Roger Vadim  (1928 - 2000)

French writer-director who had a habit of romancing his leading ladies. And God Created Woman, his debut, created a sensation and made a superstar of Brigitte Bardot. His other films include Blood and Roses, Barbarella (featuring then-wife Jane Fonda), the first part of Spirits of the Dead, the Hollywood excursion Pretty Maids All in a Row and Night Games.

 
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