Director: Richard Donner
Scott is in his middle ages, he’s thirty seven even if he on occasion claims he’s only thirty two. Anyway, he’s near his forties. He writes pornographic novels for a living. During a stay in London he meets this teenage girl that he falls in love with. She fall in love with him too of course and since the age of consent is sixteen in England they get married. Everyone says it’s a marriage bound to fail but they are both positive it’ll work out. When the couple moves back to New York they need to confront things they didn’t think about. She has to go to school for example. And when Scott gets arrested for hitting a cop and gets one month behind bars things really gets out of hand…
First of all… for me Richard Donner is the man that gave us the Lethal Weapon movies. To see such an early film by him is very interesting. It’s actually his second movie and it kind of shows. There are lots of very cliché ways to tell the story and it’s obvious that Mr. Donner has some way to go before he’ll make really good craftsmanship movies! After some TV series and TV Movies he started to make some very memorable movies though. But this is the Shrine of Charles Bronson and not Richard Donner so I won’t elaborate further on that!
Charles Bronson does the male lead in this very awkward story. It does not condemn the marriage despite their difference in age, and it does not encourage it either. It rather focuses on the problem of the marriage or the relationship altogether. The thirty seven year old porn novelist and the sixteen year old school girl do not have very much in common. And when the initial teen crush is over they have a very hard time. He needs to focus on his next book in order to get an income and she can’t help it but rants on and on about things in a teenage kind of way. To him the world is old and to her it’s a new place full of new thing to experience and to learn. In addition to that, she’s British and he’s an American.
Susan George did the part of sixteen year old Lola/Twinky. She was twenty at the time but is totally convincing as an adolescent. Charles Bronson on the other hand does one of his more strange roles here. I’ve seen quite a lot of his movies and I know that the revenge- and cop movies are just a fraction of what he did in his career. But still, this is a very odd part. I can’t say that he does something special with the opportunity, but he uses more facial expressions that usual and he seem to be genuinely in love!
This hasn’t gone down in history neither as a lost Richard Donner nor a Charles Bronson classic and it’s not hard to figure out why. But still, as a fan one Charles Bronson I found it uplifting to watch and even if the story is kind of naive it was very watchable. Not this particular release though, it sucks big time! There must be a better quality release out there! If not, someone better release one! I bet there are movie buffs out there dying to catch this obscure film already! It might not be a classic but it’s certainly a gem worth watching among some of us!