Gourmet Video's first foray into feature length film, The Fantasies of Jennifer Faye, is both pleasing and disappointing. It's primary distinction is that it has been shot directly onto videotape. For those of you who don't know, Gourmet Video produces hour long features all shot directly onto tape (as opposed to film). The appeal of shooting direct on video is immediately apparent when watching the first steamy sex scene: it seems very intimate, almost as though you were in the same room. There are none of the fancy distractions (garish soundtracks, special effects) that happen too often during filmed sex scenes. This intimacy is an unusual effect which many enjoy. For those of you who have seen only filmed XXX movies, The Fantasies of Jennifer Faye could be an ideal first direct-to-video feature.
Jennifer Faye (Margaret Smith) is a famous English romance writer, brought to America by film producer John Leslie to write an R-rated movie. In the course of Fantasies, we learn she has come to America to escape her problems —everything she types onto paper (especially her own fantasies, which she's trying to work into the script) automatically happens in her life! It is an amusing concept. We're never quite sure what is real and what is fantasy, until she rips up the sheet of paper and suddenly things disappear. But, for Jennifer's characters the storyline goes on; for Jennifer herself, the search for her own fulfillment (the "unrestrained orgasm") continues. There is wonderful interplay between Jennifer and her creations (she knows that she's their God). But not until she meets Leslie's character, the producer, is she satisfied both with her work and herself.
Margaret Smith (or Maggy Wilson —the tape says the former, the box the latter), who was featured in the syndicated TV show "Prisoner: Cell Block H", is one of the best things about the movie. She can act fairly well, is very good looking, and, as Faye, has a good sense of humor about her character. Unfortunately, we don't see as much of her as we'd like. Her big scene with Leslie (the climax of the movie) is shot as to leave too much to imagination.
This brings us to the major problem of this production: the lack of really good, steamy XXX sex. There are only two explicit scenes in the movie, and the others are only partially realized: an orgy that never gets going, and the strangely edited final scene between Smith and Leslie.
The Fantasies of Jennifer Faye is a good idea, fairly executed. It's fine for those who enjoy a good story and shy away from very explicit sex. For those who have never seen a-direct-to-video XXX movie, Fantasies should prove pleasurable entertainment.