MAINSTREAM FILMS

MY TUTOR

mytutor

I decided to do something a little different this morning and go Old School, revisiting this classic 1980’s teen comedy. And in the 1980’s teen comedies tending to revolve around several variations of one topic: A teenage boy is determined to lose his virginity any way that he can. Hilarity ensues. Also, frequently, the object of the teenage boy’s desire is an older adult woman, one who reciprocates the boy’s feelings. This was back before they started arresting women for this sort of thing.

This film, written by Joe Roberts and directed by George Bowers, was released in 1983 and stars Matt Latanzi (who didn’t make many films after this, but did marry Olivia-Newton John, so I’d say he came out ahead) as Bobby who, as we open the film (after an extended dance sequence at a female aerobics class) is struggling to take his final High School test, which is for his French class. Afterwards he’s greeted by his best friend Jack (Crispin Glover) and Jack’s older brother, Billy (Clark Brandon). We quickly learn that both Bobby and Jack are virgins, while Billy is the experienced ladies man. To celebrate their graduation from High School, Billy takes them to a local brothel, where he is a regular customer, to set them up with prostitutes to have sex with. Bobby is sent to a room with the voluptuous Ana Maria (Kitten Natividad), while Jack is given to the blonde beauty Louisa (Shelley Taylor Morgan). But when they get to their rooms it doesn’t go well for the boys. To calm his nerves, Bobby had been drinking alcohol all night, and when he gets his first look at Ana’s nude titanic tatas he nearly passes out. And then as he gets on the bed and climbs on top of Ana he does pass out. Falling asleep with his head on her boobs. Meanwhile, Louisa turns out to be a dominatrix, and when she brings out the leather bullwhip Jack runs away screaming.

Bobby is from a wealthy family (which makes it seem odd that he hasn’t been able to get laid, or that he was going to a regular private school, except in 80’s movies rich kids and poor kids always went to the same High Schools, to show the stark contrast in Class distinction). He lives in a mansion with his parents, simply known as Mr. and Mrs. Chrystal (Kevin McCarthy & Arlene Golonka). Mr. Chrystal is determined that Bobby follow in his footsteps and go to Yale to study business, although Bobby just wants to go to UCLA and study Astronomy. The next morning at home, Mr. Chrystal reveals that Bobby failed his French final, so he can’t officially graduate High School and get into Yale unless he takes and passes a makeup test in a month. So Mr. Chrystal hires a private tutor to live with them and help Bobby study French every day. Caren Kaye plays Terry Green, the tutor. Mr. Chrystal offers her a $10k bonus if she can help Bobby pass with over 85%. Bobby isn’t too thrilled when he first meets her and doesn’t take their first study session seriously.

Bobby’s next attempt at losing his virginity is that night when Billy takes him and Jack to a diner to meet a waitress named Sylvia (Graem McGavin), who has a reputation for being really “easy.” Billy convinces her to have sex with each of them in the backseat of her car in the parking lot, with Bobby going first. He and she get in the backseat and start making out, and she takes off her top (revealing a lovely pair of bare breasts…that’s another great thing about 80’s teen movies, actresses were more willing to get nude, or at least topless, onscreen), but before they can go any further Sylvia’s badass Biker fiancé (Rex Ryon) shows up, with a dozen of his biker friends, and Bobby is forced to run for his life. Late that night, while in his bedroom, Bobby looks out his window and sees Terry swimming naked (she shows everything) in their pool. When she’s finished, he sneaks out and follows her back to her room (she’s living in their guest house) and peeks through the window and gets another look at her naked.

Now Bobby’s paying a lot more attention to her during their next study session, and they begin talking more about their personal lives, and Billy tells her about his goals, which she encourages. When Bobby does well on a practice test, they celebrate by going out to lunch. They run into Terry’s ex-fiancé Don (Bruce Bauer), who is an arrogant businessman. She broke with him when she caught him cheating, but he begs her to come back. Terry and Bobby leave him, riding off on Bobby’s scooter, but we see Don writing down the license plate number.

Bobby’s still obsessed with losing his virginity. We see him notice a woman (Jewel Shepard) talking in a phone booth (remember those? If so, you’re OLD), and fantasizes about grabbing her and kissing her passionately and then they’re in a car making out (she gets topless too), before he’s snapped out of it. The next time he see Terry swimming naked he tries to follow her again but she catches him and admonishes him, although her smile suggests that she’s not that upset about it. However Bobby is unhappy the next day when he sees Terry and Don together, her having decided to get back together with him.

Still determined to lose their virginities, Billy takes Bobby and Jack to a club to watch female mudwrestling. We don’t see what happened inside, but we see them getting kicked out, Billy and Jack are covered in mud, having jumped into the ring. Bobby is ready to leave, but Billy and Jack hang out in the back, waiting for the girls, only to get chased off by the ladies’ musclebound boyfriends (although while driving away Jack manages to rip one of the ladies’ dresses off – Katt Shea – exposing her bare breasts). Meanwhile, Terry goes to Jack’s place and catches him cheating on her again already, getting a blowjob from some woman in his car. Back home he sees Terry crying and tries to comfort her. And that night when she’s swimming naked in the pool again, he doesn’t hide, and she ends up pulling him in with her and they kiss.

Next they’re in her bedroom where she lights some candles and then they undress and then have sex (while a ballad, “The First Time We Made Love” by Kathy Brown, plays in the background). Despite the salacious nature of the plot, this scene is played very tenderly and emotionally (ignoring the fact that this is probably statutory rape, as the next scene is Bobby’s birthday party, so he wasn’t technically 18 the night before), with the two of them kissing passionately and exploring each other’s bodies (speaking of which, Bobby is ripped, with big biceps and washboard abs, making it even more unrealistic that this good-looking rich boy couldn’t get laid, no matter how shy he is). The next day at Bobby’s birthday party, Mr. Chrystal gets slightly drunk and tries to proposition Terry, but she turns him down. A girl named Bonnie (Amber Denyse Austin) whom Bobby went to High School and he had a crush on, shows up at his party and she sees impressed with him, saying that he looks “different” now.

Bobby and Terry continue their secret affair (we see them in bed together a few more times, and laying in a bathtub together, but there aren’t any more full sex scenes), although Terry worries that he’s getting too serious about her. Don is still a problem, he comes to their house looking for Terry but Bobby chases him off with a gun, and another time he chases them in his car while they’re on Bobby’s scooter, but it ends when Don’s car flips over (he’s fine, but the car is totaled). When Bobby’s parents go out of town for one weekend, Bobby also gives the maid and cook the weekend off, so he and Terry can spend time alone. Billy and Jack come over at night, and they look through the window and see Bobby in bed with Terry, and Jack gets Billy to take him to Mexico, as Jack’s last chance to lose his virginity, too.

The night before Bobby’s makeup test, Mr. Chrystal sees them kissing. Bobby passes his test with 91%, and Billy and Jack drive past having come back from Mexico with Jack having finally had sex. Bobby’s still talking about having a future with Terry, but she’s telling him that now that the test is over, she’s going to be going to France to visit her family. And Mr. Chrystal tells Bobby about the bonus money he promised Terry. Bobby is angry, thinking this is the only reason she ever slept with him (but he knew she was getting paid to tutor him, so what difference does the bonus make?) and he and Terry get into an argument, leading him to ride off on his scooter. He almost gets hit by a car, and crashes his scooter, and then walks to Bonnie’s house and wakes her up (it’s 2am) and asks her out on a date, convincing her to dump her boyfriend. The next day he apologizes to Terry as she’s leaving, saying he’ll never forget her, and she drives away. Bobby has told his father that he’ll be going to UCLA instead of Yale, and with one last kiss, Terry and Bobby say goodbye forever (as “The First Time Made Love” plays again). And as her taxi drives off in the distance, Bobby jumps in the air and clicks his heels together. THE END

Re-watching this film after all this time brings back such feelings of nostalgia. And it still pretty much holds up after all these years. And while Matt Latanzi may have been miscast as the “shy and nerdy” Bobby, Caren Kaye was perfect in her role, and there’s no denying the chemistry that those two had onscreen, which made this film work.

Chacebook rating: FOUR STARS

available on amazon

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