Thursday, July 25, 2013

My Tutor (George Bowers, 1983)

Who knew Katt Shea, the writer-director of Stripped to Kill and its sequel Stripped to Kill II: Live Girls, had such long, luxurious legs? Oh, you did know that. Well aren't we special. Just to let you know, I'm fully aware that this isn't the most conventional way to start off a review for a film about a dark-haired student who has sex with his blonde-haired tutor. I'm just trying stall long enough until the film's annoyingly catchy theme song leaves my head. Wait a second, shouldn't the fact that the film's theme song is stuck in your head make it easier to type words pertaining to the film in question? You would think that, wouldn't you? But, no. It's actually having the opposite effect. It's true, I don't know who sings the song, but I do know that Webster Lewis and Arthur Hamilton were the one's responsible for writing the music and lyrics. In other words, most of the blame/credit should be hurled in their general direction. One of the main reasons the song that opens My Tutor is so irritating is because it causes me to hum it whenever I think about the bounty of leotard-adorned female crotches heaving and thrusting their way to fitter selves that greet us at the beginning of this Crown International Pictures release. Now, this may come as a shock to you, but not every movie made during the 1980s had an aerobics montage. And that's why, when I do come across a film that does boast an aerobics montage, I have a tendency to hold it against my bosom with a little more gusto than usual. Wow, I had no idea you were so fond of chicks in leotards. Yeah, it's kind of my thing. If that's the case, get ready to smother this film with kisses, because it has not one, but two montages where physically attractive women perform aerobics in an environment that is conducive to stretching, bending, jumping and lunging in tight-fitting clothing. I don't want to sound greedy, but why couldn't they have given us a third aerobics montage? I think most people will agree that the film's finale third could have used an aerobics montage.
Don't you think a third aerobics montage would have been somewhat redundant? You better be playing devil's advocate, because that's one of the most egregious things I've ever heard. No, hear me out. How many times do you need to see a woman's sweaty crotch being strangled by a thin layer of spandex? It's doesn't make sense, from a storytelling point-of-view, for the filmmaker's to go to the aerobics well a third time. In fact, the second aerobics montage was pushing it a bit. I don't know how to put this, but I think you have lost your mind. And, not only that, you're coming off as a tad square. Square, eh? Yeah, only a real square would openly refuse an extra helping of spandex-ensnared resplendence.
Speaking of ensnaring things, is Katt Shea's crotch at anytime smothered by a thin layer of spandex during this film? First of all, why do you keep mentioning Katt Shea? She's a director, not an actress. And secondly... Holy crap! It says here that Katt Shea is in this movie. And get this, she apparently plays a mud wrestler. You're obsession is slowly starting to make sense. Anyway, I'll tell you what is pressing against Katt Shea's crotch in a minute. In the meantime, let's pretend this is a normal movie review, written by a normal person.
What's strange about "You're My Tutor," the song that opens My Tutor, is how disco-friendly it sounds. Call me out of touch, but I didn't think anything that smacked of disco was allowed to be an American movie after it was declared dead sometime in 1980. Nevertheless... Actually, disco, while shunned by mainstream society, was still popular in nightclubs, and, of course, played an important role in the aerobics craze that was sweeping the nation at the time. And since California is in the nation I'm referring to, it makes perfect sense that Terry Green (Caren Kaye) can be seen working up a sweat in a striped leotard in the film's disco-friendly opening scene.
An opening scene that mixes chicks in headbands doing jumping jacks with shots of Bobby Chrystal (Matt Lattanzi) struggling to finish a French exam.
I know what you're thinking, aerobics and French exams don't exactly go together. But don't they? Hear me out. One involves a group who have gathered together in a room to improve their bodies, while the other involves a group who seem determined to better themselves as well. Except the latter involves the mind. However, and most people probably don't know this, but the mind is part of the body. And like any muscle, if you don't use every so often, it will become weak and feeble. In other words, you could say Terry and Bobby are both striving to obtain the same thing.
The only difference being, Bobby fails his French exam. This, as you might expect, causes Bobby much grief, as a high score was needed for him to gain acceptance into Yale. Comforted by his friend Jack (Crispin Glover), Bobby tries to look on the bright... What the hell! Crispin Glover is in this movie! And one of the first things out of his mouth is the line, "Kick out the jams! It's time for summertime fun!" Do you mind? You're interrupting my flow. He may have flunked French, but at least he has Bonnie (Amber Denyse Austin) to confide in. What do you mean they're not dating? Are you telling me that Bonnie isn't interested in Bobby? That doesn't make sense. This problem comes up a lot over the course of My Tutor, and I place the blame squarely on the shoulders of Matt Lattanzi. Why? Look at him. I'm supposed to believe that Matt Lattanzi is a socially awkward teen who's best friends with Crispin Glover? Have you seen this guy without a shirt? He's an Adonis.
To make matters even more ridiculous, Crispin Glover and his brother Billy (Clark Brandon) decide to take Bobby to a brothel to get, as the kids say, "laid." Why would Matt Lattanzi need to be taken to a whorehouse?!? It doesn't make any sense. He should be beating them off with a stick. On the other hand, maybe he is, after all, socially awkward. I mean, how else can you explain the fact that he falls asleep on Kitten Natividad's breasts? I guess you can be handsome and socially awkward. It's not something I've ever seen, but I guess it could happen.
It doesn't help that Crispin Glover is his best friend, as he is the king of socially awkward. Though, I was a tad surprised by how Crispin Glover reacted to being tied up and whipped by Louisa (Shelley Tayor Morgan), a blonde dominatrix. Instead of enjoying the experience, Crispin freaks out and runs screaming from the room. Yep, you heard right: Crispin Hellion Glover's character in My Tutor isn't into sadomasochism. So, let me get this straight. The über-gorgeous Matt Lattanzi, that's right, I said "über," plays a dork who likes astronomy, and Crispin Glover, the future king of the echo people, plays a guy (one who wears sock garters in the late 20th century) who's not into being whipped by sexy blondes in black stockings? It looks that way. 
Since the movie is actually about Bobby's relationship with Terry Green, the freelance French teacher. It's about time we met her, don't you think? Hired by Bobby's father, Mr. Chrystal (Kevin McCarthy), Terry is told that she will get a 10,000 dollar bonus if she succeeds at getting Bobby's French grade up into the mid-80s. Of course, Bobby doesn't know about this so-called bonus, which will probably cause some drama down the road.
Did anyone else notice they way Mr. Chrystal looked at Terry's crossed legs as she was being interviewed for the tutoring job? No? Well, I did. Actually, it's not that hard to spot.
To say that Terry has her work cut out for her is a bit of an understatement, as her first pool side French lesson does not go all that well; Bobby seems more interested in Terry's social life than French verbs.    
If you thought Jack and Billy were going to let the debacle at the brothel stop them from trying to get laid, you obviously know nothing about teenage boys. Taking Bobby to see Sylvia (Graem McGavin), a woman who works at a nearby burger joint, the plan is to have sex with her in the parking lot while she's on her break. I thought it was nice of Sylvia to rent out her vagina to a trio of down of their luck teens. Only problem is, Sylvia's boyfriend is in a bike gang, and they're rumbling into the burger joint parking lot as we speak.
Having failed to penetrate the pussies belonging to Kitten Natividad and Graem McGavin over the course of the two subsequent nights, Bobby is clearly itching for some poontang. Don't be crude. Uh, I mean, Bobby currently possesses a profound desire to experience a raucous bout of tasteful coitus with a willing member of the opposite sex. And you know who's a member of the opposite sex? That's right, Terry Green. And just like her interview with Mr. Chrystal, Terry induces hardness via the sight of her legs crossed. Except, instead of deploying them in a stuffy office with the aid of a modest white dress, Terry unleashes her gams pool side with the backing of a pair of pink shorts. The sight of her legs crossed causes Bobby, in a veiled attempt to cool off his inflamed genitals, to jump in the pool.
You can tell that Bobby that is more focused on his French lessons after dampening his erection in the pool. And this new-found focus can be seen in his grade (his test score went from a 55 to an 80 in under two weeks). However, as most people know, teenage boys have trouble focusing on multiple things at once, and Bobby's focus is also squarely on Terry herself. Whether watching her take midnight swims or doing aerobics down at the local health club, Bobby is obsessed with Terry.
If he's so obsessed with Terry, why is Bobby fantasizing about having sex with Jewel Shepard? Playing "Girl in Phone Booth," Jewel briefly appears in a fantasy sequence, where Bobby pulls over to the side of the road (on his red Vespa), to watch her talk on the phone. In all honesty, I can't really explain the purpose of this scene; I guess it's supposed to remind us that Bobby is still a horny teenager. Either way, as a Jewel Shepard fan, I appreciated its inclusion.
Just because Bobby's focus is elsewhere, that doesn't mean Jack and Billy are going to stop trying to get laid. And they think they have found the surefire way to achieve this goal: Exotic All-Female Mud Wrestlin'. To the surprise of virtually no one, their attempt to woo two female mud wrestlers by jumping in the ring with them doesn't exactly go as planned. The great thing about the mud wrestlin' sequence is the appearance of filmmaker Katt Shea as one of the mud wrestlers; she's the one with the insanely longs legs wearing the leopard print bathing suit.
Someone should tell Katt Shea's mud wrestler character that she's not naked, as she is clearly wearing a pair of red panties. Huh? After Billy tears off her blue dress, Katt Shea starts screaming, "I'm naked, I'm naked!" over and over again.
In a shout out to The Graduate, the film that started the whole older woman, younger man trend, a business partner of Mr. Chrystal pulls Bobby aside during his elaborate birthday party (so elaborate, that his mom, the alluring Arlene Golonka, booked a new wave band who sound like Devo and look like Spandau Ballet), to tell him the future is in "computer chips."
As expected, Bobby and Terry eventually develop feelings for one another. But, like I said, how will Bobby react when he finds out that Terry is being paid 10,000 dollars to teach him French? Nonetheless, I thought Matt Lattanzi and Caren Kaye had excellent chemistry together as the proponents of this film's non-existent agenda. Lighthearted and innocuous, My Tutor harkens back to a time when we could sympathize with the privileged son of a super-rich businessman who is too handsome for words.


  1. I liked this movie so much more than Private Lessons, because Eric Brown looked so damn young and it upset me. I like Brown more than Lattanzi, but he at least looked legal to me! :)

    Also, Scorned with Shannon Tweed is sort of a mixture of My Tutor and Hand That Rocks the Cradle. I loved it!

  2. I've seen this (My Tutor) and They're Playing with Fire, but for some strange reason never got around to Private Lessons; weird, wild stuff.

    Oh, and Scorned looks amazing. :D