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Society Affairs

Society Affairs

Studio: Caballero
Category:  Classic , Feature film
Directed by:
Starring: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Released on: 
Where to buy:DVD NewDVD RentStreaming/Download
classix comment's ratings for Society Affairs:
Overall Rating 4.5 stars
Society Affairs overall rating 4.5 stars
Female Looks Society Affairs Female looks rating 3.5 stars
Male Looks Society Affairs Male looks rating 2 stars
Sex Society Affairs Sex rating 2.5 stars
Plot/Acting Society Affairs Plot/Acting rating 5 stars
Extras Society Affairs DVD Extras rating 0 stars
Audio/Video Quality Society Affairs A/V Quality rating 2 stars
Rating Scale
Reviewed by classix comment  on  12/20/2007

Initial Thoughts
Another Gary Graver film that I love that I haven't seen in ages...With Harry Reems so it's automatically ranked high in my book.

The Film
Gary Graver was one of hardcore cinema's true master filmmakers along with Metzger, Weston, Damiano, DeRenzy, and Costello (which about names all the greats). While Society Affairs is one of his less known titles, it ranks as high in Graver's filmography as his first three masterpieces, 3 A.M., V The Hot One, and Ecstasy Girls.
Society Affairs is Graver's best comedy of the 80s. Shot the same year as his amusing yet standard Centerspread Girls, as well as 5 other films (the man had a busy year), Society Affairs is a smart and extremely well made satire of high society and the soap operas made about them. Full of cryptic links to Dalla$, Dynasty, and others, we find our unlikely hero in Harry Reems, an out of luck petty thief who gets the opportunity to pull the job of a lifetime when his former partner, Veronica Hart, just happens to be invited to the high society wedding wedding of Howard, a dead ringer for Reems.
After Howard is drugged, Reems takes his place and is supposed to impersonate him during his wedding and therefore except his near one million dollars in wedding gifts. But as hard as he tries, Howard just can't escape the inevitable clutches of the bevy of females also staying at the wedding house...
With an impressively witty script, Graver's best since The Ecstasy Girls, and exceptional acting especially on the part of Reems who turns in an exceptional career comedic performance, Society Affairs is a wonderfully enjoyable film. It never misses an opportunity to throw in a clever pun or witty aside and with the garishly lit set pieces, pleasant ragtime score and creatively staged sex scenes which themselves serve as never boring set pieces to augment the narrative instead of destroying it.
Graver has strong command over his exceptional cast and gets performances out of some of them which rival the finest comedians of the era. The editing is also exceptionally well done and paces the film very nicely. But what really makes this film work is how skilfully Graver shows Reems' approach to the upper class, a group he always admired and envied, changing when he actually meets and, temporarily, becomes one of them.
As Graver did in The Ecstasy Girls where Jamie Gillis goes from money hungry actor to romanticist, Reems too transforms when he comes to understand the hypocrisies and vulgarities of the rich slobs he encounters. He eventually realizes that wealth is merely a cover for insecurity and discontent in life.
The sexual escapades he engages in while impersonating Howard are all bent of off hatred, perversion (in this case incest), and contempt for loved ones. In many ways, Society Affairs works in the same way as Graver's first hardcore feature 3 A.M. in its tackling of family politics and the problems that arise from a family which lives incestuously close. Here though, not only issues of familial insecurity are discussed, but the problems which arise from people who are so concerned with their own images, they disregard the feelings of others, preferring to pawn off loved ones to fatten their pocket books.
While Society Affairs is not quite on the same level as Gravers earliest hardcore films, it's damn close and demands to be seen by all.

A/V Quality
Society Affairs is given a DVD treatment almost as bad as Graver's other masterpiece of the 80s, Amanda By Night. Presented in a muddy, full screen (open matte) transfer where there is often so little richness to the on screen color, it could just as well be black and white. More so, the DVD itself is plagued by a layer transition effect which causes a break in the time code and a momentary pause in the image. The full screen framing is obnoxiously bad, especially on a film so well framed to 1.85:1.

Cuts Warning
None, thankfully. Although the layering transitions do omit a few frames.

Sex, etc.
For the first 45 minutes, the sex scenes are all very short and thankfully so. The remaining 45 minutes feature the brunt of the film's sex. Luckily, most of the sex scenes are played for either laughs or are well intercut with non-sex footage so as to not detrack much from the story.


Final Thoughts
A truly excellent film gets a watchable, but far worse than it should, DVD treatment.

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The opinions expressed in this review of Society Affairs from Caballero are not necessarily the opinions of Adult DVD Talk. Adult DVD Talk provides a public forum for consumers to post their DVD reviews. Adult DVD Talk does not edit these reviews.