The Happy Hooker Goes to Hollywood

The Happy Hooker Goes to HollywoodSynopsis: Based on the best-selling book which had sold millions of copies by the time the film was made, The Happy Hooker tells the funny and feisty tale of Xaviera Hollander – a girl on the verge of discovering her sexuality, her financial freedom, and the lusty, lucrative connection between the two.

Two-time Bond girl, Martine Beswicke, stars as Xaviera, now a best-selling author. And when Tinseltown comes calling with a less-than-savory offer for her book, she flexes her independent spirit, deciding to film the movie herself!

***********************************************************************

The Happy Hooker Goes to Hollywood 6.0

eyelights: Martine Beswick. Adam West. the self-referential plot. the bevy of sexy beauties.
eyesores: Adam West’s acting. the corny, unrealistic ending.

In what is a continuingly clever use of Xaviera Hollander’s life as a basis for making sex comedies, ‘The Happy Hooker Goes to Hollywood’ invents a story around the making of the first picture, ‘The Happy Hooker‘. In this third and final entry in the series, a flailing major studio turns to Hollander’s book as a lifeline, hoping to make a box office hit out of her story.

Hollander, cajoled by the promise of fortunes untold, goes to Hollywood to meet with the studio heads and discuss the idea. Within a short time, she would find that Hollywood is full of sharks and, feeling betrayed, decides to break out on her own to make the movie – with the help of the studio boss’ grandson, no less. They, of course, will do their utmost to prevent this from happening.

I’m not sure what Cannon Pictures, the studio behind the Xaviera films. had in mind with this production, but, fittingly enough, a whole new cast and crew were hired to make ‘The Happy Hooker Goes to Hollywood’. That makes three movies, with three different flavours and three entirely different sets of filmmakers behind its creation. Why not stick with the same people, for continuity’s sake?

It couldn’t have been a budgetary concern because they hired Adam West to costar in the picture. Not just cameo: costar. Bruce Wayne a.k.a. Batman is actually in a sex comedy based on the life of Xaviera Hollander! And not only that, but, he even has a couple of lovemaking sequences! Of course this means that we have to see West naked. Seriously. Adam West does nudity here. He’s nekkid.

Um… for good or bad.

Personally, I was just stunned to see that he would make such a career decision. Was this a desperate move by someone with no other meal ticket? I mean, I know that his career stalled after Batman, but could this be all he had left? He certainly looks ragged, worn, so maybe he was going through hard times. It’s hard to tell from his performance, though: is his emotional disconnection calculated or consequential?

Because, let’s face it, although it is claimed that he has purposely played Batman in a campy style for effect, he doesn’t fare much better here: his delivery is completely off at times, accentuating the wrong syllables and such. That’s when he’s not looking totally bored, of course. But maybe he was going for a humourous touch; I mean, he seemed in on the joke when he flexed one of his limp pects for the camera. (Don’t ask!)

Then again, maybe there was nothing else to do but to give in to a picture that would have him dress in drag (um… and not even remotely convincingly; it was clearly done as a gag) and that filled up the screen with bountiful booties and boobies instead of plot and character development. It was obviously made to draw a certain type of audience, likely a late night one that has low expectations and just want T&A. B-level stars are just added enticement here.

Thankfully, the picture benefits from the presence of Martine Beswick in the lead. While she sometimes goes through the motions, and looks nothing like Xaviera (especially the last two on-screen incarnations!) she imbued the part with an intelligence that had been lacking thus far. She does it with conviction, too, feeling the part and adding a playfulness and sexiness that the others didn’t. She reminded me of Sally Kellerman to some degree.

I looked her profile up, and was extremely surprised to find out that she was in two James Bond films: in ‘From Russia With Love‘, as one of the duelling gypsy girls, and in ‘Thunderball‘ as Paula. What? I never would have recognized her! She looked much older than her 39 years would have suggested, seemed taller, and… um.. was so white. I mean, really white. I suppose that the tan might have worn off in those 15+ years, but…

Anyway, Beswick was by far the anchor of the piece. If not for her solid -if slightly exaggerated- portrayal, we would have been left with a handful of cartoonish male characters and a dozen or so non-actresses obliterating their lines. I don’t know who did the casting but, aside from Beswick, only Alexandra Morgan seemed remotely competent, as Max, Xaviera’s assistant; she wasn’t just beautiful, she had presence too.

In the end, ‘The Happy Hooker Goes to Hollywood’ leads us on all sorts of madcap adventures, from R-rated orgies to a brothel fundraising to a car chase after thieves! It may sound silly, and it is, but it isn’t entirely campy, with only the finale truly losing its dignity. I’ve seen much better films, but I’ve also seen a heck of a lot worse, and it has its moments. Plus which it’s more fun than the other two pictures.

Actually, I think that it’s a step up over the previous installment and it makes for a good closer for the series. It might even become a guilty pleasure of mine over time.

Story: 7.0
Acting: 5.0
Production: 5.0

Sexiness: 4.0
Nudity: 6.0
Explicitness: 3.0

Date of viewing: August 17, 2013

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s