Directed By: George Bowers
Starring: Rob Morrow, Johnny Depp, Emily Longstreth
Tag line: "They're looking for hot times. And they came to the right place..."
Trivia: This marked the film debut of Rob Morrow
Love Him or hate him, there’s no denying that Johnny Depp (Edward Scissorhands, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Sleepy Hollow) is a talented actor. So is Rob Morrow, for that matter (a 3-time Golden Globe nominee for his work in the hit ‘90s TV show Northern Exposure, Morrow also wrote and directed the 2000 drama / romance Maze), while Hector Elizondo (numerous movie & TV roles over a 5+ decade career), Leslie Easterbrook (Police Academy, The Devil’s Rejects) and Andrew Dice Clay (stand-up comedian and co-star of Blue Jasmine) have proven time and again they’re no slouches, either. What possessed any of them to appear in 1985’s Private Resort is beyond me. I’ve seen some bad comedies in my day, but Private Resort is, without question, one of the worst.
Good buddies Ben (Morrow) and Jack (Depp) are spending the weekend at a luxurious Florida resort, where all the women are gorgeous and available. With so many babes around, the two pals went into the weekend hoping to score as often as they could, but when Ben sets eyes on Patti (Emily Longstreth), a waitress at the resort, he falls instantly in love. As for Jack, he hooks up with Dana (Karyn O’Brien), the beautiful granddaughter of the wealthy Mrs. Rawlings (Dody Goodman).
What Jack doesn’t know is that a jewel thief, who calls himself The Maestro (Elizondo), has just checked in with his bodacious wife Bobbie Sue (Easterbrook), both of whom plan to steal a valuable diamond belonging to the unsuspecting Mrs. Rawlings. And seeing as the resort’s head of security, Reeves (Tony Azito), is a bumbling idiot, Ben and Jack are going to have to step up and save the day.
Even a synopsis as formulaic and trite as the above cannot properly prepare you for how God-awful Private Resort is. Yes, it’s a 1980’s sex comedy, and as such there are plenty of attractive ladies parading around in skimpy bikinis (some of which malfunction). Even Leslie Easterbrook dons a sheer nightie that leaves nothing to the imagination, and from start to finish, director George Bowers lets his camera linger on exposed midsections while also giving us more butt shots than I could possibly count.
But neither the female cast nor the handful of nude scenes could save this so-called “comedy”. There is not a single, honest-to-goodness laugh in the entire movie. Not one. In fact, the most it got out of me was a quick chuckle (when Elizondo’s character, chasing down Ben and Jack, wanders into an exercise class and tries his best to fit in). Even Andrew Dice Clay (as a guest of the resort who’s more than happy to cheat on his girlfriend) falls way short of the mark in his brief appearance, and fails to generate so much as a smile.
There are those who have been critical of Johnny Depp’s work as of late, and to be sure some of his collaborations with Tim Burton have been less than stellar (Dark Shadows was a disappointment). But as mediocre as some of his recent films have been, at least Depp had the good sense early in his career to stop making this sort of garbage. Private Resort is pure shit.