Sunday, 5 August 2012

Soft Porn Sunday: Kira Reed & Josh Comen

Those of you who read these will probably have clocked by now that I like soft porn with good acting, a bit of a plot, a reason for the sex scenes, and a dash of humour. This film has all of those. I bought it on a whim (and the fact that the DVD was cheap helps too), but by the time I'd gotten halfway through, I was more interested in where the story was going than in the sexy bits - and that's the sign of a good movie, people!

I was talking about this film to Jilly the other day, and that got me thinking about the scenes - there are a few in this film, and they're mostly... well... not very good. However, for an example of a good one, a lot of people focus on one of two - either:
  • the opening scene (cheating husband with anonymous "L.A. Babe", played by Nikki Nova, who's featured on the front cover so prominently that she looks like a giant),
  • the "sex by a rooftop swimming pool" (because apparently everyone in LA has a pool on their roof...) scene between Rat (Judd Dunning) and Roxy (Lisa Boyle, doing her best "sultry sex-bomb with a heart of gold" act here).
The scene I'm going to be looking at is neither of those. It's an overlooked scene, and I can kind of see why: unlike the first of the scenes listed above, the sex is very slow here, as opposed to hard and wanton, and unlike the second scene... well... it hasn't got Lisa Boyle in it. But it's still worth a look, perhaps as a curio.

Appearance: The Night That Never Happened (1997)
Characters: Claire & Brad

Unlike a lot of the sex scenes I worryingly appear to like, which usually happen between two people who barely know each other, this scene is nicely set because it happens between a man and his fiancée, so the sex is justified. Even
the reason here is justified: Claire (Kira Reed) agrees to sleep with Brad (Comen) just before his spur-of-the-moment stag party, partly because he's "not going out loaded" - one of the worst possible ways to say "hasn't had sex for a while", but I get the meaning - but mostly because she wants to. They are, after all, engaged. It's a very nice set-up, and it works without being too clunky.

Kira Reed - who has been in practically everything related to softcore at least once - is hardly in this film; she's a cameo, rather than a supporting role. But she manages to get her kit off and into bed, and given that she only has five minutes of screen-time, that's really quite impressive. If I didn't know better, I'd say her only purpose here would be to have sex...

...oh.

Awwwwwwwww!Anyway, let's do the aesthetic bits first...

Décor: Well, it's a bedroom, isn't it? Yeah, there's nothing particularly special about it - unlike the aforementioned rooftop pool scene (which is given a name: "Tar Beach") - but it certainly looks like a bedroom. Not a lot of attention is paid to the scenery, in fact, as mostly the focus is on the couple (and rightly so!), but there's nothing particularly wrong with it. Perhaps it looks a little too sparse to be a real bedroom - we need clutter, dammit! - but I still can't find any problems with this. I'm also pleased to see that they thought to put the bedside light on, since the scene happens in the evening. Nice touch there.

Music: This is more of a problem for me, as I don't actually like the score to this movie. The main theme - which mostly consists of a drum beat and a woman going "da da da da da da da" - is teeth-grindingly irritating. This isn't used in this scene, thankfully - we get soft jazz instead - but I don't really think it fits. Okay, so the iconic instrumental rock that is used for more energetic scenes wouldn't have worked either, I'll grant you, but this music sounds a bit too... well... beachy. I don't know how else to explain it. The balmy ululation that you get makes me think of sipping iced peach cocktails by the sea
somewhere in Malibu, as opposed to in a bedroom in suburbia. But it's not bad music. I just don't think it fits.

Cinematography: As I've said, a lot of the focus in this scene is on the two actors, rather than anything else.
There aren't many close-ups, allowing for a lot of full-body shots - often something I like. There aren't any Batman angles and any cuts in the scene are made with nice, simple, quick mixes. There also some long shots, too, which makes a change from some scenes, in which you're expected to see so many things at once it gets frustrating! It's not very explicit, even for a softcore scene - breasts and chests are seen, but not much else, unlike in some films where you get to see a smattering of hair - but you have to remember the context, and that makes even the lack of detail fit.

So let's get onto the main reason why I chose this scene. The acting. I've always liked Kira Reed - maybe when I was
They're so in love! a young teenager, it was for her body and the way she moved, but I'm older and wiser now (well, older anyway), and what I like is the way she acts. She puts a lot of passion and energy into her acting - Claire is frustrated before the sex starts and it actually seems as if she is! - and it pays off. Of course, she knows how to do a sex scene. I do have a bit of a problem with Josh Comen, though. I haven't seen him in anything else, but here he seems too clean-cut and virginal to be a husband-to-be on equal footing with his fiancée. Despite initiating the sex, and the fact that he's on top most of the time, the expressions on his face look like something a 16-year-old's "oh my god, I'm having sex with a sexy older woman! I can't believe this is happening!" thoughts might bring up. As a result, it does look rather like Claire is in control, and Brad is an innocent younger man who she's seduced. That's not really what they're going for. If it were another actress (as opposed to someone who's done this sort of thing four bazillion times before), it might work in a different way.

But apart from the (unintentional) equality imbalance, I like this scene. It's short and not groundbreaking, and the sex they actually end up having is really quite routine. But it's an engaged couple having loving sex and that really is something you don't see a lot in softcore. A curio, as I said - but a good one. There are better sex scenes in this film, and this one isn't going to make me orgasm. But it is a good starting point, if you need one - and, apart from anything else, it is very, very sweet.

Now please excuse me while I go and indulge in a world of sunshine, lollipops and rainbows.

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