CLOSE ENOUGH TO TOUCH (aka La Chica de al Lado)



I had to get a Spanish import DVD of this film, to make sure I got the unrated version. It cost a bit more, because it was worth it, because you don’t want to waste time watching an R-rated version of a softcore movie.


Released in 2002, written by Romy Hayes and directed by Jamie Scabbert, this film is about the Henderson family. Bobby Johnston stars as Jason Henderson, a successful attorney, and Softcore film Legend Monique Parent (using the name Scarlet Johansing, for some reason) is his wife Amanda, a bored housewife. They have two children who live at home, Neal (Jason Schnuit) and Suzanne (Brandy Montegro). Living next door to them is Charlotte Pratt (Toby Miller), a divorced single mother living with her daughter Ashley (Tracy Ryan).

Now, the odd thing about this movie is the casting. The actors playing the children don’t look much younger than the actors playing the parents. They dyed some patches of gray in Johnston’s hair to make him look older, but it doesn’t do much. It’s never stated exactly how old the kids are supposed to be, but they’re all clearly adults. Neal is in law school (due to his father’s pressure, but he really wants to be an artist), so he has to be at least 21 (although 22-24 is supposedly the average age for first year law students), and Suzanne refers to him as “little brother”, so she’s at least 1 year older than him. Miller and Ryan likewise look like sisters, but Ryan’s character Ashley’s age isn’t given either, but she still lives at home and is having a relationship with Neal, which they keep secret (he hops over the fence to their backyard, and then climbs a ladder up to her bedroom window at night), because her mother is “overprotective” and doesn’t want her seeing Neal for some unexplained reason. So Ashley is supposed to be young enough to need her mother’s permission on who to see, despite looking like she’s in her mid-20’s.

So the premise of the film is that Jason neglects Amanda, because he’s more concerned with becoming a Senior Partner in his law film and, as I mentioned, pressures his son to follow in his footprints, oblivious to Neal’s real desires. Riley Jordan plays Elaine, a new lawyer hired at Jason’s law firm, who Jason has an affair with. Meanwhile Amanda spends her time at home drinking and seduces Brad, the young man hired to be their gardener (played by Sebastien Guy), whom Suzanne also has her eye on. Suzanne is an aspiring model, although her parents are unaware that she occasionally does photoshoots in the nude. Only Ashley knows, when Suzanne invites to come along to one of the shoots. I guess the main character in this movie is supposed to be Neal. As he eventually stops sleeping with Ashley, realizing that she’s no good for him, and gets fed up with all the lies and secrets in his family and, with some encouragement from Elaine who ends up leaving for another law firm, he drops out of law school, buys a motorcycle and rides off to follow his dreams. There’s also another subplot where Suzanne, who is kinda promiscuous is convinced by Brad that she doesn’t have to use her sexuality to find a decent man (& they sleep together).

So the plot is a bit light, other than Neal’s story, not much is resolved. But the film saved by the sex scenes. The only complaint I have is that Monique Parent only has one sex scene, in the beginning with Sebastien Guy. There are a couple of other scenes where she gets naked as Amanda tries to seduce Brad again while others are in the house, but he rejects her. The real “star” in terms of sex scenes is Tracy Ryan. She gets three full sex scenes, two with Schnuit, when Neal sneaks into Ashley’s bedroom, and one with Montegro, where Ashley gets naked and masturbates in her room as she imagines having lesbian sex with Suzanne, which is shown as like a dream sequence, after watching her nude photoshoot. Tracy has two other masturbation scenes in the film, in the beginning while watching Brad mow the lawn, and later in the film while watching Jason lift weights in his backyard. Montegro has two scenes, one where Suzanne has sex with her photographer, Robert (played by Marklen Kennedy, under the name Jack Lincoln), in a pretty hot scene where she’s dressed in a school girl outfit, on set made up like a classroom, and then one with Sebastien Guy, as Suzanne and Brad have sex in a pool. Jordan gets two scenes, one where Elaine and Jason have sex on his desk in his office, and one later where Elaine and Neal have sex on the couch at her house. And Toby Miller has one scene with Johnston, when Charlotte and Jason have sex by the fire in her living room.

All of the scenes are hot, and shot well, making this film well worth buying. FIVE STARS

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