The Love-In Arrangement (1981)

This fastpaced fuck film farce represents the sole directorial credit for one illustrious "Charles Larkin" who - judging by the degree of professionalism on display - just might be another of those mythical Hollywood players "slumming it".  Taking style and casting choices into account, the latter making for something of a moot point as all NY pornographers were forced to dip into the same and ultimately limited talent pool, you can pretty much rule out the usual suspects like Joe Sarno, Chuck Vincent or Bill Milling, albeit each of them registering as a definite possibility for the part of perpetrator although in any of these cases the mystery would surely have been cleared up by a penetrating print or intrepid internet source by now. 

The clue, however tenuous it might seem at first, could possibly be found in production and distribution company Melody Films, founded by Troma's very own head honcho Lloyd Kaufman for a string of '70s pornos he's still hesitant to discuss and has on more than one occasion actively attempted to suppress.  Owning up to The Divine Obsession at least, his most ambitious adult endeavor (which he also directed as "Louis Su"), as a means to make ends meet, it was hardly his first time at bat, preceded by his all singing, all dancing, all fucking extravaganza Seven Delicious Wishes a/k/a The New Comers by several years.  Of course, his brother and regular collaborator Charles also wasn't a stranger to the full color penetration factory, having directed and fearlessly owned up to 1977 adult classic The Secret Dreams of Mona Q by employing his real name rather than an alias.  Could this alleged "second" attempt perhaps reek of misgivings he had initially not taken into account ?  With a rambunctious sense of humour similar to early Troma T&A titterthons like Squeeze Play, Stuck on You and The First Turn-On, the tirelessly energetic Love-In Arrangement stands head and shoulders above comparable attempts at carnal comedy.  It offers a solid opportunity for its likable central pair of frequently underrated performers to shine and has a cute premise to boot.

Aspiring actress Dolly (marvellous Merle Michaels) has put her fledgling career on hold to support her stand-up comedian boyfriend Lenny, which provides a rare lead for good-looking Rick Iverson, usually found in bit parts in movies like Ron Sullivan's excellent The Budding of Brie, incidentally the very first porno flick I ever saw, or Roger Watkins's searing Her Name Was Lisa. Now that he's a big success and plans to break up with her over a pair of semen-encrusted panties that have been brought to his attention by his sleazy best friend Ron Jeremy, Dolly proceeds to sue him in a headline-engendering palimony trial to the tune of a million bucks. Suffice it to say that both parties have a decidedly different take on what caused their relationship to deteriorate. 

Heck, they can't even agree on how they first met, Dolly alternately appearing as a kindhearted, starstruck small town girl (her version) or as a wanton golddigger (his). There's a very funny elaborate sequence involving a big time movie producer, played in witty deadpan fashion by the always dependable Eric Edwards, who's decidedly more interested in Dolly's physical charms than any thespian prowess Lenny might possess. The late Arcadia Lake, Edwards's then real life girlfriend who passed away from a drug overdose, shows unexpected comedic flair as the great man's seen it all secretary who knows her employer's way with a willing starlet all too well. The girl playing his assistant who meanwhile consoles Lenny in the kitchen is pretty Patty Boyd who was the naive hippie chick in Armand Weston's classic Take Off and apparently changed moniker with each performance.

The film's mindboggling lowlight on the other hand consists of a weird party of so-called cat lovers, only in this case that means freaks who like to dress up and act like felines, a sequence so spectacularly misguided it would qualify as insufferable if it weren't for the life-saving comic antics of longtime friends and lovers Samantha Fox and Bobby Astyr going for broke. Unfortunately, their considerable talent's not the only waste this movie can lay questionable claim to. Vivacious Vanessa Del Rio and bug-eyed beauty Christie Ford only appear as part of group sex scenes in differing versions of how Dolly and Lenny got acquainted. At least, Vanessa provides a feverish if fleeting double penetration along the way. Kandi Barbour, she of the protruding nipples, pops in 'n' out (how appropriate !) for an under two minutes bathtub boff as one of Lenny's "occupational hazard" conquests.

Small wonder then that the movie still manages to overcome such shameful spillage and do so with flying colors. This is all down to some sparkling writing, especially in the courtroom scenes, and the tremendous chemistry between the two stars. Michaels raised the dizzy blonde shtick to an art form in fine films like Larry Revene's Sizzle and Ron Sullivan's A Girl's Best Friend yet was too often considered merely a one note supporting strumpet, an assumption proved wrong by her absolutely delightful work here. Iverson turns out to be even more of a UFO, if anything, his charismatic performance and studly prowess apparently cementing burgeoning major league status that for some unfathomable reason never came to pass.

Directed by Charles Larkin.  Produced by Mitch Delray for Melody Films.  Edited by David Grover.  Starring Merle Michaels (Dolly Lee), Rick Iverson (Lenny Morgan), Eric Edwards (Ron Tyne), Arcadia Lake (Hillary), Vanessa Del Rio (Chiquita), Ron Jeremy (Favor), Roger Caine (Ed Kosh), Mike Filene (Judge Ravermeyer), Patty Boyd (Ron's Personal Assistant), Samantha Fox, Bobby Astyr (Cat Lovers), Kandi Barbour (Tub Tryst), Linda Vale & Denise & Diana Sloan.  Running time : 73 minutes.