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There is a particularly evil section of the video store that I'm sure everybody knows about. No, it's not the horror section. It is the so-called adult room. The sign says that only "mature audiences" can enter, although the titles on display, at least at my local store, would suggest that "mature" is a relative term. It is one thing to read the erotica of Anais Nin or Henry Miller, but quite another to actually have the fortitude to walk up to the counter holding a copy of Cum and Piss Volume 40 in your hand. And I`m not joking about the title, unfortunately.

For those of us who actually believe that there can be something beautiful in erotic images, there is the erotic section with all of the soft-core titles. But even here, the genre is loaded with bad sex thrillers in which the female characters are humiliated in some fashion because of their involvement in sex. Think of Body of Evidence, for example. There are some exceptions, and Temptations is one of them. Yes, this is a pretty bad film, but at least it is not evil.

Lauren Hays and Monique Parent, mainstays in the erotic genre, star in a story of two sisters (including Hays) who have inherited the family farm, and who attempt to keep it afloat, despite pressures from a developer and the fickleness of Mother Nature. One of the sisters lives with her husband, and Hays offers to stay and help out for the summer, much to the chagrin of her city-boy boyfriend. There is also a man named Tanner, who is good with the horses, and, apparently, also with Hays' imagination, as she fantasizes about him for the whole movie. Parent comes into the scene later on as a city gal and Hays' best friend. This now-equal match of guys and gals ensures that many sparks will fly, and many soft-core couplings will soon occur. But who will do what to whom? Do you need to ask? The only things that need to be said are that the married couple actually stay married and monogamous, which really is pretty impressive, and that the other four discover true love, or at least better sex. But you knew that, didn`t you?

The only reason that this film even exists is for its erotic situations, and Temptations delivers. The movie is no-holds-barred erotica: this is truly a sex movie, although there is nothing I would call disgusting or nasty. Use your brain for a moment, however, and laugh at this strange alternate universe. For example, as the two friends decide to take a swim (naked, of course) Parent tells Hays that she can`t date again until she heals properly from her last really bad relationship, and that she can't sleep with a guy she doesn't love......... but that doesn't mean she isn't up to hot lesbian sex with Hays two minutes later!!

Lauren Hays is the winner in this movie. She definitely looks the part of a seductivve, earthy woman. And she is exteremly beautiful as well. Monique Parent is also very interesting. She really is not a conventional beauty, but is up to speed with the erotic atmosphere. Her acting is derisive, almost witty - at least for a soft-core.

Much of the movie depends upon the idea that Tanner is some rough-and-tumble studly cowboy: Hays wants to get into his pants, while Parent dismisses him as a redneck. This stereotype of the cowboy only works if you've never seen a movie cowboy. Now, John Wayne is a cowboy. Geez, even Jimmy Stewart was more of a cowboy. Hell, even Ricky Nelson was more of a cowboy, and all he did was prove in Rio Bravo that he couldn't act! Tanner just works on a farm! He looks pretty bland and average to me.

One good aspect of this movie is how it manages to create an almost pleasent feeling. Nobody dies, nobody commits serious crimes, and everything turns out happily. This is almost life-affirming, for God's sake! Sure, everybody has sex a lot, but at least they do it with happy feelings. And none of the women characters are portrayed as empty-headed bimbos: everybody at least looks as if they have some level of humanity.

Temptations is, of course, a foolish movie. The plot is pretty weak, and it utterly fails at creating suspense when somebody sabotages the farm equipment. Red herrings abound, but the movie barely gives them any weight. If they had dumped the sabotage and concentrated on the sexual musical chairs, Temptations might actually have warrented another half-star. But if you just want to watch beautiful people, this movie has some merit. And it may be inspiring as well. If you love the country, the lakes, the scenery, the solitude, then this movie will at least show you some lovely places as seen during beautiful summer days. And since this is an erotic movie, maybe you'd be inspired to take your partner along and spend the summer. I know I would!

David Macdonald

David Macdonald's Movie Reviews

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