Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Joan Collins, Michael Morgan (II), Shell Kepler, Lanny Horn, Erin Donovan
Genres: Comedy, Drama
At the end of his senior year of high school, Tommy (Michael Morgan) finds his education in the form of Diana (Joan Collins). His friend Ralph learns the lesson from Ms. Jackson (Lee Purcell). Without knowing what would... more »
Joan Collins has a thing for the jailbait...
cookieman108 | Inside the jar... | 12/16/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The American teenage male...are they all preoccupied with copulation? The short answer is yes...I remember in my formative years it was all I could do to get through the day without thinking about all the females I wanted to bag, be they classmates, teachers, the lunch lady, the cheerleading squad, my friend's mother (every guy had a friend who had the `hot' mom), the girl at the arcade, etc. I would have forsaken much (including food, water, and even air) to quell the raging hormones that brewed within...Homework, produced and directed by James Beshears, his only film as his later career consists mainly of sound work on films, stars Joan Collins (Empire of the Ants) and Michael Morgan, who mainly appeared in bit parts on television throughout the 70's and early 80's on shows like Hawaii Five-O, Emergency!, and ChiPs, to name a few. Also appearing is Carrie Snodgress (The Attic), Wings Hauser (Beastmaster 2: Through the Portal of Time), and actress turned director Betty Thomas (Hill Street Blues)...don't blink, or you'll miss her role as secretary to a rock star...nice cleavage Betty...
The film begins like your garden-variety teen sex romp, two high school guys smoking a J (that's slang for a doobie, in case you're wondering) in the locker room, sneaking peeks into the girl's locker room, but then sort of veers off into odd, yet interesting directions. We spend a bit of time with Tommy (Morgan), a good-looking, blonde haired high school kid with a serious problem...he's not getting any, especially since his girlfriend (whose mother is played by Collins) is so preoccupied with making the swim team she spends nearly every possible moment in the pool. But this doesn't seem to bother him as much as the perception that everyone else around him is, so much so it's causing his grades to slip, so he visits the school psychiatrist (Snodgrass) and she recommends he channel his energies expended on thinking about what he's not getting into a creative outlet, to which he decides to create a rock band, enlisting a few of his friends and acquaintances from school. From here we sort of wander between various characters, the friend lusting after the new French Teacher, the girl infatuated with the local, ultimately sleazy, rock star (played by Hauser), and so on...eventually Tommy does get the `education' he desires, and from the least likely place (at least to him, but not to us as the advertising for this film tended to focus mainly on the whole younger man/older woman theme, on that obviously involved Ms. Collins).
I was slightly surprised at how this film played out (I'd seen it many years past on cable, but only had vague recollections of it). It's promoted heavily on the physical relationship aspect between Tommy and Diana (his girlfriend's mother), but that is such a short scene near the end (both actors were obviously portrayed by body doubles once the nekkidness begins, as we see neither of the actors' faces during the brief tryst, and the body double for Ms. Collins has a much better body than she did pushing 50, and the body double for Tommy exhibited way to much chest hair). There was plenty of T (not a lot of A) throughout the film, none by Ms. Collins as she was past the point of showing off her body as much as she did in The Stud (1978), or the follow up The B*tch (1979). As the film highlighted on certain characters, we're presented with what's essentially the equivalent of a string of After School Specials (popular in the late 70's and early 80's) vignettes (VD, over protective parents, obsessive/compulsive behavior, trying to find ones' identity) tied together by some rather loose threads. Despite the juvenile aspects present throughout, the writing was somewhat intelligent and tended not to make the characters appear as stupid or hollow as expected from films within the genre, but rather provided a `humanizing', almost realistic quality much like that in a similar film released the same year, The Last American Virgin. The one aspect of this film that annoyed me was the flashbacks by Ms. Collins character, as she tries to recall how it was when she was her daughter's age. These were pretty clunky (especially the retro 50's rock music...couldn't they have popped for a few actual songs from the period?) and tended to disrupt the already choppy flow of the film. The biggest weakness of the film, in my opinion, lies within its' inability to sink its' teeth into any one area, rather glossing over a variety of different topics. If this were a straight up, erotic comedy (as it seems to have been promoted), I would certainly be a lot less critical, but the film tries to be more than that, combining a number of different elements, but rarely linking them together cohesively, or giving them the attention they deserve. Also, the meager payoff certainly wasn't worth the buildup that took place through much of the film, and probably caused many a viewer to feel a little shortchanged. Ultimately, the film isn't as bad as some would make it out to be, but then again it isn't all that great. If you're looking for something a bit juicier, I would recommend My Tutor (1983), Private Lessons (1981), or even Mischief (1985). If you're looking for something more substantial, check out The Last American Virgin (1982).
The widescreen print on this DVD looks decent, but does suffer from very minor signs of aging (the occasion vertical line, white speckling). The audio came across very well and understandable. Special features include an interview with the executive producer Max Rosenberg (he, along with Milton Subotsky, formed Amicus Productions in the early 60's, a chief rival to Hammer Films), along with a trailer for this film, and one each for May Morning (1970), and another for a film called Quackser Fortune Has a Cousin in the Bronx (1970), starring Gene Wilder.
Worth it only for Joan
cookieman108 | 06/10/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is basically a horrible movie. Just very, very bad. However, the closing minutes make it worth buying. The main character, a horny teenage boy, is seduced by his girlfriend's breathtakingly sexy mom (Joan Collins). Joan is xtremely sexy, and she seems to find the scene exciting as well (knowing her hunger for much younger men, I bet she was.) Her boyfriend now would have been younger than the kid in the movie at this time!! Yes, this is a very bad movie saved by a breathlessly erotic few minutes."
Willie Montgomery | Denmark,South Carolina | 01/13/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I thought the movie would feature Joan Collins and her male co-star's character as the only storyline and feature in the movie.The sex scene was boring.Most of the story centered on the other teen stars' characters.I've seen Joan Collins in other good movies,but this one is NOT GOOD."
Private Lessons Gets Ripped Off!
Johny Bottom | 07/23/1999
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I have no idea why Joan Collins agreed to appear in this movie, but obviously she needed some quick cash. Absurd and utterly buffonish, "Homework" does not come close to carrying the originality of some of the other great 70's and 80's teen sex romps it obviously ripped off. The result is a piece of trash on celuloid, which is a total waste of time. If this film does not constitute "student film" - as in "junior high student film", then I have eaten my words. Production values are so low in this picture - one scene shamelessly exposes a boom mike while a girl talks on the telephone to a friend in the middle of her aerobics routine! I love a bad 80's pic as much as the next guy, but this is below the surface. Oddly enough, the film, which should have been shelved in the 70's, was released by Universal Pictures the same summer that they released E.T. and Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Talk about an odd roster. To the previous critic, I have a suggestion - a cold shower!"