Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

I was under the illusion that this film ‘Cheeky’ was my introduction to the works of Italian director Tinto Brass, until it came to my attention that he was behind the infamous ‘Caligula’. Now I was fifteen when I saw ‘Caligula’ so that would mean I’d be over twenty years removed from that film, and while the overall content of that movie as a bit hazy in my mind, the situation in which I saw it will remain crystal clear forever. As an even younger kid I remember watching ‘I Claudius’ on Masterpiece Theater with my mother – John Hurt playing Caligula in particular stuck in my head. Perhaps a bit heavy viewing for an 8 year old but that was mom. So with an interest in the history of Rome and knowing that ‘Caligula’ was just released on VHS, and with the knowledge that it didn’t get great reviews the family still rents this thing. And I mean The Family. Me, my nine year old sister, my two aunts, my mom, my dad, my cousin all sit down to watch ‘Caligula’. Oh my. How many ways can we spell ‘uncomfortable’? Watching porn with your mom, no matter how close we may have been, is NO way to pass the time. Thanks Mister Brass. But now we have ‘Cheeky’, which I’m not quite sure what the hell to make of.

Yuliya Mayarchuk plays the winsome Carla who is in London via Venice doing what? I don’t know. Other than walking around the city wearing next to nothing and sporting no ‘irritating’ under garments. Carla is in need of an apartment as boyfriend Matteo (Jarno Beradi) will be there shortly and they need a place to continue the consummation of their love. Real Estate agent Moira (Francesca Nunzi), who is all too eager to assist the lovely Carla and is just smitten over the girl. Might I throw in that Yulia Mayarchuk, at least in this movie made in 2000, could be the poster child for the elasticity of youth. Outstanding. Nonetheless, Moira seduces poor Carla, but Carla does get a dope loft out of deal for pennies on the pound which seems cool, but alas only drives Matteo, who is still in Venice, crazy with jealousy.

Matteo’s jealousy only escalates when he finds some love letters written to Carla from some French clown which causes him to cancel his trip to London. Distraught, Carla goes to one of Moira’s wild parties and washes her sorrows away in sexual decadence. Matteo however changes his mind as he feels the need to confront his girlfriend face to face and grill her personally about her alleged infidelities. Soon however Matteo realizes the error of his jealous ways and comes to grips with the relationship with his terminally horny girlfriend and understanding why his being insanely jealous is actually a good thing. Don’t ask me to explain it to you, you’d have to watch this flick and then listen to Tinto Brass tell you himself on the DVD extras, and then it still probably won’t make any damn sense.

So I’m trying to figure out what makes something pornographic. What exactly defines something as pornography and something else as ‘erotica’ or ‘softcore’ or whatnot? Jean-Claude Brisseau’s ‘Secret Things’ had penetration and ejaculation but it doesn’t rate as porn I don’t think. But about the time the French dude stuck his tongue in Yulia Mayarchuks butthole, I’m thinking this might qualify for porn status. Sure it’s not to the level of say ‘Awesome Anal Asians’ but still. Note that I make these porn titles up as I go along. My apologies to the creators of ‘Awesome Anal Asians’ if such a title actually exists. There’s plenty of men standing at ‘full attention’ in this flick as well as the occasional wayward finger finding it’s way into an empty orifice or two, but yet this isn’t porn, at least of the hardcore variety I guess.

As a movie there’s not much too ‘Cheeky’ as the story is sketchy at best and just serves as a framework for Brass to insert as much high quality all natural naked flesh into his film as time will allow, and to that end, he succeeds marvelously. This is a film that is also edited almost like an action film, with quick cuts and fast scenes with Brass never keeping his camera too static for too long. This keeps the audience from focusing too long on the fairly nonsensical story line and also allows the director to squeeze in more shots of his physically perfect lead, from every conceivable angle. Let’s watch Carla get a full body massage! Let’s watch Carla bent over a bathtub! Let’s watch Carla get violated by the Director – playing a lecherous quick foto developer! Let’s watch Carla expose herself to the world in a canoe!

I’m not sure if Tinto Brass is to be reviled or whether he’s my new hero. I mean dude looks a lot like Jabba the Hut and yet gets to work with some of the most beautiful women on the planet. And even violate them on occasion. To hear Brass tell it on the DVD behind the scenes interview, the reason he loves the ass so much is because "the ass doesn’t lie". The face, Brass informs us, is a hypocrite mask capable of faking and lies. Not that I doubt the man, particularly considering the amount of asses I’m sure he’s seen, but next time some woman tells me something that I might question, I don’t know how ‘pull down your pants and prove it to me, because your ass don’t lie’ is going to fly. But hell, I’ll give it try.

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