The Film (1/5)
Flying Acquaintances (simply titled "Acquaintances" on the film's title card) is a movie that falls just between adult films' transition from softcore to full hardcore. It features Jamie Gillis and others who would soon go onto hardcore work, and while the sex is simulated, it's a little raunchier and more explicit than other softcore films made around the same time. The movie was apparently believed to be long lost, and Vinegar Syndrome's DVD release is the first it's seen in any format. It's not any kind of lost gem, but it's an interesting curiosity for people interested in the evolution of porno movies.
The movie takes place over the course of a day, beginning with Gillis, as a cab driver, having a rendezvous with a stewardess. The rest of the movie jumps from one couple (or trio) to the next that are very loosely connected, before coming full circle to a tired Gillis returning home to his wife, who has also had a busy day. With the movie limiting itself to relatively non-explicit shots of people simulating sex, it's tame stuff by today's standards - there are even moments where we can catch glimpses of the performers' underwear as they're supposedly mid-coital. It's not "porn" in any contemporary sense of the word, but it's occasionally perversely charming, like flipping through an old gentlemens' magazine.
The movie's sleazy sense of humor is also straight out of an old issue of Genesis or Oui. Some of the vignettes include a guy who ignores his wife's please to have sex with her, Gillis' attempts to overcome his exhaustion for his oversexed wife's own overtures, and an older woman seducing a young virgin to hopefully cure him of his homosexuality. Basically, it feels like it was written by a 12-year-old boy with no sexual experience guessing at how sex works ("Boy, it's the worst when your wife wants too much sex and you're all worn out from too much sex, right?"). Flying Acquaintances has some historical interest as throwback smut, but as a comedy, it's painful.
Vinegar Syndrome's 2K restoration of Flying Acquaintances looks and sounds great given that the movie wasn't available in any form for a long time. Detail, colors and skin tones are strong throughout, and while the source elements are far from pristine, especially whenever the movie cuts to stock footage (which is frequent), it's a surprisingly clean transfer. The 1.0 mono audio won’t make for a reference disc, but it’s
In addition to the theatrical trailer, an 11-minute outtakes reel is included, though it’s not more explicit than the film itself.
Neither sexy nor funny, Flying Acquaintances is a pretty tough sit even for fans of vintage adult cinema. Still, it’s impressive that Vinegar Syndrome was able to resurrect a movie previously thought lost, and in a good-looking transfer with a couple of extras. Recommended for adult film completists.