Affinity

 (2008)

by Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Affinity is from the same general family of pictures as Tipping the Velvet, the British project about lesbians hiding their love from the scorn of Victorian England. Unlike Tipping the Velvet, this one has virtually no exploitation elements, and takes itself quite seriously all the time. There's no singing or dancing or naughty verbal banter. It's basically just two women moving toward an affair.

One of the women is a con artist, a spiritualist who has been imprisoned for having caused a fatality in one of her sťances. She claims that she is innocent and that the death was caused by a powerful spirit whom she was channeling.

The other woman is a young upper crust lady who visits prisoners as her form of charitable social activism. The rich lady's sexuality has been completely closeted since her one and only girlfriend repented of her Sapphic adventures. Her sense of loss is made especially poignant by the fact that her own brother married her former lover. The brother is, of course, ignorant of the women's youthful hanky-panky.

Since the rich woman is prohibited from expressing her inclinations and is, in fact, being pursued by a male suitor, she is desperately lonely and frustrated, and is therefore highly vulnerable to the female con artist, who senses her problem and exploits her. The major problem for the con artist is not seducing the lonely heiress, but rather convincing her that she is a "real" spiritualist and that she was railroaded into jail by a rogue spirit and an unheeding legal system.

I didn't find the film very satisfying. It is not really deep enough to be a drama of social consciousness, especially since the script calls for the rich woman to be completely taken in by the prisoner's spiritualism alibi. I found that hard to swallow, given that she was the daughter of a renowned scholar. OK, lady, I know you're horny and infatuated, but do you really believe she has supernatural powers? Really?

On the other hand, Affinity is not lurid enough to be an exploitation film. It has some characteristics of a WIP film, but it's not one. There is the requisite prison shower scene, but it lasts only a few seconds and the real nudity is provided by uncredited extras, many of them in poor physical condition. Elsewhere in the film, there is no nudity and very little kissing from the central lesbian couple. In essence, this film is a straightforward Hollywood thriller, except that it's located in Victorian England. Imagine one of those sleazy films where you are led to view every situation in a certain light until the very end, when the director shows you five minutes of footage which took place behind the scenes of what you had previously seen. Well, this is one of those standard "all is not what it appears" kind of films, except that it is about 19th century lesbians. It's Tipping the Velvet meets Wild Things, except without the sex and nudity.

Does that sound good to you? I just can't imagine who would be in the target audience. Having noted that, I'll add that the overall premise could have made for a great exploitation film. Re-do this film with plenty of girl-on-girl action, and it would be steamy, gothic fun. It could have been really entertaining as Tipping the Velvet meets Wild Things WITH the sex and nudity. Too bad it didn't go there.

DVD INFO

* no widescreen

* bare bones

 

 

 

 

 

THE CRITICS AND ACADEMIES

  No major reviews online
   
   
   
   

THE PEOPLE

   
5.7 IMDB summary (of 10)
   

THE BOX OFFICE

Minor film festivals, then straight to vid.

NUDITY REPORT

  • Full female nudity from miscellaneous extras.
  • Zoe Tapper does a nude shower scene, but keeps all her naughty bits covered.

 

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Web www.scoopy.com

Our Grade:

If you are not familiar with our grading system, you need to read the explanation, because the grading is not linear. For example, by our definition, a C is solid and a C+ is a VERY good movie. There are very few Bs and As. Based on our descriptive system, this film is a:

D+

It is a competent film, but with nothing to offer.