The critical brain boggles when faced with the peculiar challenge of reviewing a clichéd 80s teenage sex comedy. One can only imagine how tough it would've been for a film critic back in the mid-1980s. Sure we get plenty of shitty trends for modern comedies these days (like the much-hated genre spoofs such as Epic Movie and Date Movie), but the never-ending flow of teen sex romps must've caused at least one or two critics to quit their job and become a Chartered Accountant. The movie in question, 1985's Private Resort, is one such member of this dreaded teen sex romp species.
The teenage sex comedy genre was launched by titles like Porky's, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and countless others. Unfortunately, this sub-genre yielded dozens of dodgy, witless, worthless movies, none of which dispensed any genuine laughs - but most of which were crammed with wall-to-wall nudity (both genders). Unbeknownst to audiences of the time, every once in a while one of these romps would feature a performance courtesy of an actor destined for big-time stardom. This explains why one might notice a very youthful Johnny Depp being displayed on the cover/poster of a little film entitled Private Resort. I beseech you all to disregard that natural impulse that says "Hey! Johnny Depp! This should be cool so I'll give it a go" because in the grand pantheon of mid-'80s teenage sex romps, Private Resort is certainly one of the very worst - and if it ain't the most excruciatingly unfunny example the sub-genre had to offer, it's certainly a favourable candidate.
Here's a very brief plot summary: Ben (Morrow) and Jack (Depp) are two horny teenage pals always on the lookout for the possibility of getting laid. Their mission for sex is given further momentum when the two travel to Florida and are guests at a luxurious resort for the weekend. As they wander around this resort they occasionally stop to ogle a pair of bare breasts, and they get entangled with a jewel thief as they go from one awkward (and mostly painfully unfunny) situation to the next. Oh, and the boys find romance as well.
That's pretty much it, plotwise. The entire film uses the stereotypical and unoriginal formula of a few horny teens in a certain location that are keen to get laid. In between the characters arriving at the resort and departing (with their newfound loves), the script offers nothing but awkward situations. It's evident that those behind and in front of the camera had an absolute ball and gave it everything they had...but were let down by the awful script. The film's failure is thus the direct fault of the screenwriter Gordon Mitchell. He obviously believes comedy is just embarrassing situations and characters struggling to deal with things going from bad to worse. Private Resort is crammed with sufficient hair-raising scenarios to fill four or five American Pie sequels.
The film's stupidity could be forgiven if only it was funny. As it is, Private Resort isn't funny...it's imbecilic to extremes. The gags and pratfalls can be predicted years before they happen. And at times the film is so desperate for laughs that a Bogan enters the equation, using terms like "dude" and "radical" - we all know the type. At the end of the day, this just isn't funny...this is shit.
Prior to his breakout performance in Oliver Stone's Platoon, Johnny Depp paid his dues in a horror flick and a sex comedy. The good news is that the horror flick was Wes Craven's A Nightmare on Elm Street, so there isn't anything to be embarrassed about on this front. On the other hand, the sex comedy was this brainless shit-fest. At least Johnny looks like he's actually trying to give the film something worthwhile at times. Johnny presents a fairly likeable persona with the character of Jack (no, this character has nothing to do with Jack Sparrow). He offers a few good moments of solid acting. Nothing worthy of an Oscar, but this is a strange bridge to the lucrative career he now has.
In closing: Private Resort is aggressively obnoxious, foolish, daft, painfully unoriginal and inconceivably imbecilic. This is a film only noted for the early performances of Johnny Depp and Rob Morrow. There's little doubt in my mind that both Depp and Morrow cringe if they spot a copy of the film floating around at their local DVD shop. With Johnny Depp's current career in mind, he most likely wants to bury this movie forever. He even reportedly admitted that he did it only for money. Even the top-billed Rob Morrow (whose career has vanished) would probably want to have Private Resort scrubbed from his résumé. Is it a total disaster, though? Not at all, but dangerously close. While the laughs are few and far between, there are a few situations worthy of a giggle (these moments provide simple chuckles as opposed to genuine laugh-out-loud material). It also passes the time adequately. On top of this, I have four words and a piece of punctuation to add: Johnny Depp's bare butt!
They're looking for hot times. And they came to the right place...
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