Les plaisirs solitaires (1976)

Alternate Titles
Blutjung und verführerisch West Germany, Amor
Erotic Pleasures USA, Caballero, 1 hr 29 mins.
Das Erste öffnen junger Lippen VMP
Femmes à Combler Alpha France, video reissue title
Lonely Pleasures
Solitary Pleasures
Tout pour le plaisir ! Alpha France Blue One Collection (1:26:20) video re-issue title and DVD title, 1 hr 20 mins for DVD
Director:Francis Leroi
Notes:Blue One DVD with Charlotte mouille sa culotte and La Servante Perverse

Review:
Making the transition from stylish soft core fodder like CINE-GIRL and LES TENTATIONS DE MARIANNE to unexpurgated explicitness, by choice as much as economic necessity as he would insist until his untimely death from cancer at the mere age of 60, Francis Leroi was justifiably proud of his hardcore endeavors, usually signing them under his real name (though he would occasionally resort to the pseudonym of ‘Jim Clack’ ) and ending on a high note with 2001’s haunting masterpiece REGARDE-MOI. One quarter of a century before, LES PLAISIRS SOLITAIRES showed the fledgling fornication filmmaker getting his feet wet and his hands dirty for the very first time. The movie remains a good example of the level of sophistication the French adult industry might have maintained if the government hadn’t sucked the life out of it through ludicrously increased taxes that left only minimal resources for actual production if it was to sustain any form of commercial viability.
A simple yet elegantly constructed narrative focuses on a day in the lives of three very different women who occupy the same Paris apartment building. Refined Siegried Cellier, best remembered for her work in Patrick Aubin a/k/a Jean-Claude Roy’s NUITS SUEDOISES, plays lady of leisure Arlène who dreams of meeting a man who’s interested in her rather than her money but finds some high-priced afternoon delight with gentleman thief Guy Royer instead. She also has the film’s standout sexual encounter that could serve as a textbook illustration of what Golden Age French skin flicks were all about : a heated fumbling with stalwart Dominique Aveline in the back of a cab whizzing past Paris tourist spots – most definitely including the very phallic by association Eiffel Tower – accompanied by typical wine ‘n’ baguette accordion music ! Schoolgirl Joëlle (gorgeous Maryline Guillaume, the secretary from Georges Fleury a/k/a Jean Desvilles’ LES PLAISIRS FOUS, the movie that marked the debut of superstar Brigitte Lahaie) decides to cut class that day as she wants to lose her virginity, her initial attempts leading nowhere but a half-hearted S&M session played mostly for laughs and a palpitating lesbian liaison with a butch little number who tricked her by promising a tussle with her (as it turns out, non-existent) brother. Passing the school gates, she bumps into her French professor André Miller (sometimes Hervé Amalou, from Desvilles’ TOUT EST PERMIS) who takes her home for some private tuition, showing her what she has been missing out on. Already something of a cliché at that time, bored housewife Martine (flaxen-haired Carole Gire, billed as Christine Martin, the maid from Michel Barny a/k/a Didier-Philippe Gérard’s excellent DELIRES PORNO) experiments with group sex at the instigation of naughty neighbor Dolorès Manta, whose big-boned constitution made her a highly convincing dominatrix in the late Alain Payet’s COCKTAIL PORNO. Blink and you will miss the ubiquitous Jacques Gatteau as a belated wannabe participant turned down by the had-it-up-to-here Gire. Perhaps as a sign of the times, all the ladies’ free lovin’ only leads to tears before bedtime, making for a moralizing wages of sin coda, a trait this movie shares with the late Frédéric Lansac a/k/a Claude Mulot’s equally excellent SUPREMES JOUISSANCES.

Date: May 4, 2021