Jean-Luc Brunet – Le Fruit Défendu (1983)
underdeveloped sex drama
22 January 2003 | by Stefan Kahrs (Canterbury, England)
Most pornographic films just contain wall-to-wall sex with very little plot to hold things together or even to explain the frequent intercourse. This film is different, because it follows a dramatic story (about a man who lost his wife in an accident who now finds it difficult to relate to other women) and even ‘sacrifices’ sex scenes for plot development.
This is all well-intended but the execution falls short on too many levels: acting, production values, writing.
Alban Ceray (who plays the lead character Milton) has shown in the past that he can handle comedic acting, but this requires dramatic, even melodramatic aptitude, and he seems at a loss of what to do. Yves Callas fares a bit better, but Yoko is completely out of her depth.
Concerning production values, this was shot on video which makes everything appear rather two-dimensional. The ‘special-effect’ of turning a woman Milton copulates with into his deceased wife is more embarrassing than special (it was a bad idea to start with). The make-up artist (Colmax regular Colette Xais) was given too much freedom: Helen Shirley’s face looks as if she had fallen into a barrel with red paint, and Yoko’s final makeover goes so far that it disrupts the feel of continuity.
Finally, the writing is a bit superficial – the characters appear too shallow, we do not engage with them. There is also a lack of narrative thread to keep our attention, the events are too random and incidental to contribute to a rounded whole.
Overall, I watched this with a sense of disappointment, because there was enough promise to raise one’s hopes but too many deficiencies makes this a missed opportunity.