The Tale of Tiffany Lust (1981)
Starring Arlene Manhatten, Veronica Hart, Vanessa Del Rio, Desiree Cousteau, Samantha Fox, Marianne Flowers, George Payne, Misty, Merle Michaels, Ron Jeremy, Dave Ruby, David Christopher, Paul Simone, Arnold Strangler, Jeanne Toiler and Alex Flower.
If you’re looking for a little afternoon delight, The Tale of Tiffany Lust is guaranteed to provide a rousing matinee. This sophisticated and sensual pro-duction tells the story of a beau-tiful young housewife (Arlene Manhatten) whose wealthy husband (George Payne) has provided her with all of life’s comforts—except one. It seems that Payne, like many ambi-tious businessmen, spends more time screwing around with his financial interests than with his wife.
As Tiffany Lust gets under way, Manhatten and Payne are at the breakfast table in their elegant uptown condominium. She is futilely trying to get her husband’s attention, but loses out to the Wall Street Journal. After he leaves, she writes a note telling him not to expect her home that night, since she’s going out “with no panties on” for an afternoon encounter with another woman (Veronica Hart). Manhatten states she found Hart by answering a classified ad “in one of those newspapers where the ink comes off on your fingers.”
When the frustrated wife ar-rives at Hart’s seedy digs in Greenwich Village, Veronica greets her with open arms—and legs. But she senses her guest is nervous about this first plunge into the world of infidelity. Rather than push the matter herself, Hart recommends that Manhatten go see Florence Nightingale (Vanessa Del Rio), the Radio Sex Therapist, and follow her advice no matter where it leads.
She does just that, and where Del Rio’s advice leads is back to hubby—but not without sev-eral pit stops along the way. The first of these is a waterfront tavern, where Manhatten watches Desiree Cousteau take on the bartender, a couple of punks and a Heineken bottle. Manhatten’s nervousness turns to genuine panic as she senses she’s out of her element, and flees from the bar. At this point a handsome stranger (Paul Simone) pursues her, and the two wind up making it in the shower of a health club.
Eventually, though, Manhat-ten realizes she’s not cut out to walk on the wild side, returns home, destroys the note and falls into the waiting arms of her husband.
The neglected-housewife premise for an adult film bor-ders on triteness. Most often these flicks are resolved with so much saccharine morality, they’re almost nauseating. For-tunately, the producers of Tiffany Lust have somewhat avoided this pitfall by balanc-ing the melodrama of Manhat-ten’s quest with the whimsy, humor and raw sexuality Vanessa Del Rio brings to her role as the hedonistic therapist. Regrettably, these two elements are never fully integrated. When Del Rio disappears from the screen, the film begins to drag.
Technically, Tiffany Lust is more than sound, featuring top-shelf cinematography and good production values. There’s also some first-rate sex in this pic-ture, and those who like elegant blondes should fall in lust with newcomer Arlene Manhatten. Though her acting is a bit stiff, we certainly hope to see more of her in the future.