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Love Circles
cast: Marie-France, Josephine Jacqueline Jones, Sophie Berger, Michelle Siu, and Lisa Allison

director: Gerard Kikoine

98 minutes (18) 1985
widescreen ratio 16:9
Fabulous DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 2/10
reviewed by Jonathan McCalmont
The title of this 1985 soft-core erotic film belies a rather high concept idea. Beginning in Paris, as an American is seduced by a beautiful female thief (Marie-France, a cult French actress and 1970s' pop singer) and taken back to a furniture shop to have sex, the first scene ends with the thief leaving the American an empty cigarette packet, which he duly pockets before heading to the south of France where he is seduced by a saleswoman from Cartier (Josephine Jacqueline Jones, Miss Bahamas 1979). Picking up the cigarette packet, the woman heads off to work where she is in turn seduced by an Italian Count who then passes the packet onto his wife, the Italian con woman (Sophie Berger) whose lover hands the packet over to an Asian air hostess (Michelle Siu) who passes it onto a paunchy Tom Selleck look-alike who passes it onto... and so on and so forth until the cigarette packet finds its way back to the beautiful French thief. See what I meant about high-concept? You're only ever a few shags away from anyone else in the world... or something.

As with the rest of these Playboy films (such as Black Venus and Frank And I) the form is glamorous settings and beautiful women who essentially take their tops off and simulate sex for a couple of minutes, every 20 minutes of the film, until it's all over. Love Circles undeniably boasts attractive women (Marie-France and Sophie Berger in particular are real lookers) and in the case of the Sophie Berger scenes, the sexy bits are not badly shot either. However, unlike other films in this series, there's no real sense of sexual tension or eroticism allowed to build simply because of how mind-bogglingly contrived the film's conceit actually is. Essentially, each character gets 20 minutes to establish itself during which the actor playing it takes his or her kit off twice. In other words, the sex scenes are not interesting enough to make it worth the while given the appalling talky bits and the talky bits add nothing to the sex.

The film also suffers from the undeniable hint of racism that lingers in the air whenever we're dealing with non-white characters. For example, the Cartier shop-girl is black and is immediately described as a 'tigress', and she then has sex to the sound of jungle drums. This is doubly absurd as Josephine Jacqueline Jones is actually from the Bahamas and looks about as African as I do. The director, Gerard Kikoine, digs himself in further with his decision to create an Asian character called 'Yo-Yo' who has an identical twin sister called 'Ko-Ko'. Frankly we are in Gilbert and Sullivan territory and even for 1985, this would have been a bit dodgy.

The voice acting and dialogue are also universally appalling and peppered with poorly translated swear words peppering the script in a desperate attempt to make the proceedings seem a little bit more grown up. "You bastard!" one sighs, "You little shit!" another roars, all this delivered in a weird kind of Euro-transatlantic accent that suggests that the voiceover artists learned their English from TV.

Love Circles is not particularly erotic and incredibly contrived and silly, so give this a wide berth.

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