Sunday, March 9, 2014

My Tutor

Directed by: George Bowers  

Starring: Matt Lattanzi,
Caren Kaye,
Kevin McCarthy,
Clark Brandon,
Bruce Bauer,
Crispin Glover  

Released: 1983 

Language: English 

Length: 97 minutes

The 1980’s were full of teen exploitation sex romp movies.  I hated most of them, to tell you the truth. Perhaps that’s because I’m a woman and most of the movies of this genre were sophomoric and crude. In other words, written to appeal to high school and college-aged males whose hormones would lead them to go see any film that had lots of female nudity.
The 1983 film, “My Tutor”, certainly has plenty of nudity but it also had something else to attract young men. The movie was dedicated to the prevalent teenage boy's fantasy about having an affair with a beautiful older woman who could “tutor” him about sex. This was only the third film that George Bowers had directed at the time and he had worked mainly as an editor in low budget sex comedies (“The Pom Pom Girls”, “Galaxina”, “The Beach Girls”) before throwing his hat into the ring as a director. 

The plotline no doubt drew many young men to the theater. However, “My Tutor” had another underlining plot that probably appealed to what would become the ‘Lifetime’ crowd. The female lead (Caren Kaye) is a sexy, confident, independent woman and the dominant one in the relationship. She is worshipped by her young lover and she holds all the cards.


The movie opens with scenes of an aerobics class juxtaposed with a classroom of students taking an examination. The movie's two protagonists are featured in these scenes, with Terry Green (Caren Kaye) participating in the aerobics and Bobby Chrystal (Matt Lattanzi) taking his last high school final, in French. 
At first, Bobby's main goal for the summer before college appears to be losing his virginity. Soon, though, the poor results of his French final are in, and Bobby must take a make-up examination and score at least 85% in order to retain his acceptance at his father's alma mater, Yale University. Mr. Chrystal (Kevin McCarthy) hires Terry, a 30 year-old skilled French tutor, to live in the Chrystal home during the summer and work with Bobby on passing his exam. In addition to her normal compensation, Mr. Chrystal offers to give Terry a bonus payment of $10,000 should Bobby pass. 
Terry and Bobby begin working together but Bobby's lack of interest in both French and Yale soon become apparent. His real goal, he tells Terry, is to attend UCLA and study his true passion, astronomy. Terry is sympathetic but reminds Bobby that wherever he ends up going to college, he will need to pass his French final. With Terry's help, Bobby begins to make some progress. 
At night, after she thinks everyone in the Chrystal home is asleep, Terry uses the family's pool to skinny dip. However, Bobby sees her one night and begins watching her regularly (especially after several unsuccessful attempts by his friends and him to have sex with women in increasingly unusual situations). After one such evening, Bobby follows Terry back to her room, only to have her sneak up behind him and surprise him. Terry gently admonishes Bobby for spying on her but it is clear that they have a mutual attraction. Terry, however, has begun seeing a former boyfriend again, much to Bobby's displeasure. 
After yet another evening out with his friends, Bobby returns home to find an upset Terry, who had earlier discovered her boyfriend again cheating on her. They talk briefly and Terry later heads to the pool for her regular swim. Once she completes her lap she sees Bobby waiting for her at the end of the pool. Terry reacts by pulling Bobby into the pool with her and kissing him. Returning to Terry's room together, the two begin a love affair. 
The affair between Bobby and Terry progresses until the summer's end approaches and he has to take his French examination. Despite Terry's attempts to keep their relationship casual, Bobby has developed serious feelings for Terry and resists her insistence that the affair end once he takes his exam. Matters worsen when Mr. Chrystal, who himself lusts for Terry, sees his son and Terry kissing one night.  
After Bobby successfully passes the test with a score of 91%, Mr. Chrystal reveals to Bobby his promise to pay Terry the $10,000 bonus, implying that Terry's affection for Bobby was driven by greed. Bobby reacts by angrily telling his father that he will be attending UCLA, and not Yale, and storming out to find Terry. Once he finds her, he confronts her with what he has learned, calling her a hooker, leading Terry to slap him and deny his accusation. 
Afterward, Bobby seeks out Bonnie, his old crush, and using his new-found confidence with women, is able to persuade her to begin dating him. Terry prepares to leave the Chrystal home and Bobby approaches her to say good-bye. He begins by apologizing to her for his rash accusations and then tells her that he will never forget her. The two share one last kiss, and Terry drives off. Bobby leaps into the air, looking forward to the rest of his life. 
Not much of a plot and the film is definitely nowhere on par with “The Graduate”. Yet, the sociological implications when it comes to female domination are apparent throughout the film. First, there is a Dominatrix scene early in the film.  
Most people know Crispin Glover as George McFly in the 1985 Blockbuster “Back to the Future”. Crispin is known for portraying eccentric people on screen such as Layne in “River's Edge”, the undertaker in “What's Eating Gilbert Grape”, the ‘Creepy Thin Man’ in the big screen adaptation of “Charlie's Angels” and Willard Stiles in the 2003 version of “Willard”. 
In “My Tutor”, Crispin Glover plays Jack, Bobby’s best friend who is also obsessed with shedding his virginity. Bobby and Jack visit a brothel, a place they are destined to score. Bobby ends up with Kitten Natividad and her 44 inch bosom. Kitten was a Mexican American film actress and exotic dancer, noted for her large bosom and appearances in cult films made by her ex-partner, director Russ Meyer. 
The sight of Kitten’s large bosom causes Bobby to pass out for a few moments, only to regain consciousness and pass out again indefinitely when he actually touches her breasts (the result of too much liquid courage combined with being overwhelmed with sexual excitement).
Jack ends up with Louisa (Shelley Taylor Morgan), a beautiful blonde woman who wants to make his first time unforgettable. But it turns out that Louisa is the house Dominatrix and she has special plans for Jack. She binds him in an upright position against a device known as the Catherine's Wheel. She changes into something more comfortable but instead of lace lingerie she appears in leather, at which the young Jack proclaims, “Oh my God!”
After teasing her helpless young victim to the edge of arousal, she spins the wheel, sending him in circles and in a panic as Louisa opens a closet full of whips. The next scene shows the young male running for his life as the Dominatrix chases after him, cracking her whip. So our two young virgins fail to get laid even at a brothel. 
Another femdom scene later in the film is when Bobby goes into a lingerie/sex store to look for a gift he can give Terry. The mature saleslady asks the very young Bobby about his girlfriend, and he informs her that she is thirty-years-old. The saleslady’s responds with approval and she proceeds to show Bobby some leather lingerie and a riding crop. The implication here is that it is obvious to the mature saleslady that Bobby is the submissive one in the relationship given the age difference. He turns down the saleslady recommendation and instead buys a book about sexual positions and how to sexually please a woman. His choice is no less femdom, just a lighter and more sensual expression. 
And that brings us to the biggest femdom inference made by the film, that being the societal dynamic of an older woman having a sexual fling with a much younger male. “My Tutor” was meant to be a film about every young male’s fantasy, and while I’m sure it succeeded on that front, it also ended up being a movie about every modern woman’s fantasy. 
Obviously of Italian extraction, Matt Lattanzi has handsome dark features, a winning smile and a sexy, toned young body. For those of you who may have forgotten about this gentleman, he was a back-up dancer on the set of “Xanadu” who ended up dating and eventually marrying the star of “Xanadu”, the much older Olivia Newton-John. As a matter of fact, it struck me when I watched “My Tutor” how much Caren Kaye looked like Olivia Newton-John. 
I find it rather fascinating that the male star of a movie about a young male having a sexual affair with an older woman actually ended up marrying an older woman, a woman of similar appearance. Anywho, the scenes of “My Tutor” are devised so that Lattanzi has every opportunity to undress: in his fantasy dreams, at the brothel, in the back seat of a car, in the swimming pool. And the camera lingers over the tautness of his smooth body. A scene where he drags himself out of the swimming pool to sit at his Terry’s feet says it all; a sleek, sexy, young male who is inexperienced and unsure of himself so he can be easily dominated by a mature, confident woman. That's what women found to be sexy about this movie; the contrast between his body (hard and tan) and his mind (passive and controllable).
Because he is shy and inexperienced, he is still a virgin who is desperate to get laid. Terry comes along and teases him, leads him along and eventually she decides she wants to have him. She strips him, thrusts his head between her breasts, and pops his cherry. She does not fall in love with him because although she would never openly admit it, she ultimately just wants to use him for sex. To me, that is the ultimate femdom insinuation of the film.

"My Tutor" was made on a small budget but still managed to clock up a neat $22.6 million at the U.S. box office. For those of you who are wondering what happened to Matt Lattanzi after this film, well as I mentioned he married superstar Olivia Newton-John, had a daughter, divorced Olivia and went on to star in a handful of small parts in minor films.  
“My Tutor” is not a great film like “The Graduate”, in fact it’s not even a good film, but it definitely has various femdom themes, and for that reason I slightly recommend it. Those teen sex movies of the 1980’s were rather horrible, but if you feel the need to relive those days, you would do much better with “My Tutor” than you would with a movie like “Porky’s”.


Rating: 3 out of 5 stars