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Intimate With A Stranger Review

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A gigolo (with a degree in philosophy) can please any number of women, but has problems of his own, and pines for an old flame. When she returns, he is determined to work the relationship through, for better or for worse.

★★★★

This yawn-inducing tale of sexually unfulfilled women feels like it should have been the province of an intelligent Channel 4 documentary, rather than the low-budget, amateurish spin on American Gigolo that the director/producer duo of Mel Woods and Roderick Mangin Turner have come up with.

Producer Turner, bronzed and beefed-up, stars as Jack, a former philosophy professor turned gigolo, who rekindles the erogenous zones of a series of stock female characters with his understanding ear (cue Freudian texts on shelf) and tender touch (cue close-ups of touchy-feely body parts). Jack, however, has his own problems, downing whisky with his workouts and pining for his old flame Michelle (Nayar). When she suddenly pops up again, they indulge in a series of agonising emotional confrontations. By the end, the babblesome film resorts to the most worn of cliches as Jack jacks it all in for lurve.

To be fair, some of the women relate their sassy tales to the hunky prof with a tinge of thespian talent. But with outdoor shots resembling shoddy 70s commercials, two protagonists who simply can't act and a constant plonky piano soundtrack which only underscores the film's ineptitude, it just remains to admire Jack's heart-warming accuracy when he notes during one particularly downbeat moment: "This isn't good."

This sets out to be a kind of serious expose of modern sexual hang-ups and ideals, but Woods' haphazard direction never really gets to grips with the subject or make a telling point.