Monday, July 21, 2014

#1,435. Group Marriage (1973)

Directed By: Stephanie Rothman

Starring: Victoria Vetri, Aimée Eccles, Solomon Sturges

Tag line: "Mutual Mates - Carnal Companions - And the Possibilities Go On...And On...And On"

Trivia: Cinematographer Tak Fujimoto worked as an assistant cameraman on this film

A 1973 sex comedy directed by Stephanie Rothman, Group Marriage is a movie about six people (3 men and 3 women) who share everything. And I do mean everything!

Chris (Aimée Eccles) and her longtime boyfriend Sandor (Solomon Sturges) haven’t been getting along. So, when Chris meets Dennis (Jeff Pomerantz) one afternoon, she invites him home and, later that night, goes to bed with him. At first enraged that Chris had sex with another man, Sandor soon has a change of heart when Dennis asks his beautiful girlfriend, Jan (Victoria Vetri), to join them for dinner. Almost immediately, Sandor falls for Jan, and before long, the couples have become a foursome. But it doesn’t end there. Eventually, two more people enter the mix: professional lifeguard Phil (Zack Taylor) and attorney Elaine (Claudia Jennings). During their time together, these six experience plenty of ups and downs, yet their love for one another remains strong. So strong, in fact, that they contemplate doing something that’s never been done before: a group marriage!

Despite being billed as a sex comedy, Group Marriage isn’t the least bit funny. Not a single joke or insult hits the mark, and the gay neighbors Randy (John McMurtry) and Rodney (Bill Striglos), who keep a close watch on everything that’s going on next door, are flamboyantly over-the-top, which after a while is more distracting than anything. Along with its weak humor, Group Marriage also comes up short in the sex department. The nudity (what little there is) is brief, and a late scene, which shows Phil and Elaine in bed together, is awkward as hell (they spend the entire time massaging each other). Even the performances are bad (Claudia Jennings, who was terrific in Gator Bait and The Unholy Rollers, fails to deliver in this one).

The main characters in Group Marriage may be trying something new, but the movie itself is as ordinary as they come.

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