Synopsis: She ain’t mama’s little girl no more. The luscious Glory Annen stars as Felicity Robinson, a sheltered teen who surrenders her blossoming body to a world of bold sexual adventure. From her forbidden pleasures at at an all-girl school in England to wanton hungers in the exotic underground of Hong Kong, Felicity finds herself deflowered, defiled and ultimately delighted by the shame and ectasy of a libido unleashed. Penthouse model Joni Flynn co-stars in this notorious erotic odyssey that defined a generation of horny young men… and quite a few women, too! Severin Films is proud to present Felicity fully restored in HD for the first time ever, featuring hours of titilating extras including two compelte erotic feature films from the personal valuts of writer/director John D. Lamond.
eyelights: Glory Annen. Joni Flynn. its soft sensuality. its playfulness.
eyesores: its thin plot.
“I can’t wait. You don’t think it’s tarty, do you?”
When I sat down to watch ‘Not Quite Hollywood‘, I really didn’t expect to come out of it with a list of movies to watch. The same thing happened when I watched ‘A Decade Under the Influence‘, about the era of American indie filmmaking; I didn’t anticipate that so many movies would pique my interest.
The list was pretty long.
And yet John Lamond’s ‘Felicity’ only fell on my radar when his ‘Australia After Dark‘ and ‘The ABC of Love and Sex: Australia Style‘ were released as bonus features on the blu-ray edition of ‘Felicity’. I thought that having them would be worth the price of this disc. Plus I’d get this “bonus” film to watch.
I was disappointed when I first saw it: it felt like a cheap knock off of ‘Emmanuelle‘. It tells the story of an Australian girl who is sent on vacation to Hong Kong by her father and who takes advantage of this trip to explore her sexuality. The exotic locales and the sexual encounters echo the 1974 picture.
The fact is that John Lamond wanted to replicate the style and success of Just Jaekin’s picture and used it as inspiration. He even referred to it and Jaeckin’s follow-up ‘Histoire d’O‘ in the picture by showing Felicity devouring the books. And it worked: ‘Felicity’ was so popular it almost had a sequel.
Personally, I was bored. Admittedly, I’m no great fan of ‘Emmanuelle’ to start with, so a knock off wasn’t compelling to me. I did find it pretty to look at, between the pretty girls, sexy bits and the lovely locales, but it felt vacant to me. Plus which Glory Annen’s performance as Felicity left me indifferent.
This time, however, with adjusted expectations, I enjoyed ‘Felicity’ a little bit more.
For starters, I liked the character: Felicity is a sensualist who savours the tactile pleasures of her body, enjoys looking at the other girls at her boarding school and likes the effect that her body has on the people around her. She may be a bit shy, and a bit naive, but her sexual curiosity is healthy.
I dug that.
This time I also liked Glory Annen in the part. Though she is admittedly somewhat one-note, and a bit old for the part, she imbued Felicity with the correct balance of naiveté, wide-eyed wonder and passion to make the character work. In Annen’s hands, she’s sweet, endearing, fresh; she’s hard not to like.
I also liked Me Ling, her partner in crime in Hong Kong, a friend she makes who introduces her to the city’s many delights. Joni Flynn isn’t an especially good actress, but she’s so delicious that her every appearance was a treat to me. The fact that she’s regularly in the nude certainly didn’t hurt any.
In fact, the amount gratuitous nudity in this picture is ridiculous. I mean, it’s contextually appropriate, given that it’s a sexual coming of age story, but Lamond really served his audience wall-to-wall nakedness – any excuse to see the actresses (and some of the men, too, in all fairness) in the nude.
The picture is basically a series of sex scenes tied together loosely. It befits the genre and its softcore intentions, but it’s no wonder that I was less than impressed upon my first viewing; I tend to want more plot or more depth in sexy films – hence why standard pornography doesn’t usually do much for me.
Again, the picture is aesthetically pleasing, what with all the lovely locales, and that makes a big difference; Lamond made the most of his resources and shot a very pretty picture considering the budget he had to work with. It’s a softcore film that’s very soft on the eyes – and that’s also sexy to boot.
So ‘Felicity’ gets a pass from me this second time around. It’s not grand cinema, but it’s decent enough when you consider the genre and context. If you don’t expect much plot or character development and simply indulge in the earthly pleasures that it has on offer, it’s a delightful 90 minutes of sexiness.
I now understand why it was a hit with audiences then.
Date of viewing: May 31, 2017