Fans of Eve Ensler’s theatre piece “The Vagina Monologues” might rise up like Ellen Jamesians and denounce Mike Quasar for his “Official” (read: No fucking way it’s official) porn parody, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t one of the year’s best movies.
Since studio 3rd Degree went ahead and called it “Official,” then released it to a public who’d wonder just how (answer: no reason) it was official, this “Vagina Monologues” does often mirror the source material in its use of women delivering self-aware and empowering monologues about their vaginas.
Eve Ensler’s play, which debuted in 1996 and features a rotating and continually updated series of monologues dealing with the vagina in art, politics, society, and culture, which range from whimsical to sassy to grave to heartbreaking, makes perfect sense as a porn movie.
Not that people like Kimberly Kane and Samantha Ryan talk about clitoridectomies, the African sex trade market, or rape the way the play does, but they do rhapsodize about how men don’t understand the right way to please their vaginas in ways fans of the play would recognize and (I bet) appreciate.
Unlike the play, of course, the monologues then give way to very funny sex scenes. In fact, I’ve seen the play several times and it could use some sex scenes (not involving clitoridectomies, of course, but just to break up the static stage tableaux).
This movie’s biggest treat is that it mocks the preciousness of theatre monologues and monologuists. How many times have you seen someone wringing his/her hands in a one-person show and thought, “Oh, just get laid already”?
Many porn personnel can write funny dialogue but eventually give up in frustration and shame when their brilliant words fall unconvincingly out of the mouths of porn performers. But Quasar picked great performers (Kane, Ryan, Kristina Rose, Michael Vegas, and Anthony Rosano among the cast) to start, and added bits of business from there.
“In my country the women come first and then the man come when the work is done,” says Marco Banderas.
“I’d like to move to your fucking country,” says Yurizan Beltran.
Gynecologist Mark Wood lifts Kristina Rose’s skirt and his face is bathed in light, “Pulp Fiction” style
The delicious Samantha Ryan is a snooty girlfriend who seethes with rage at her lunkheaded and insensitive boyfriend, Rosano, who can think of any other name for her vagina than “vagina.” But, brainy as she is, she cannot control her longing.
“Put your fucking stupid mouth on my mudflaps,” she says.
“I shaved my vagina down to the nub,” Kimberly Kane says, tortured and neurotic by the injustice of not being allowed a full set of pubes by boyfriends or society. “It looked like a sideways quarter pounder without cheese.”
“The Vagina Monologues” is great fun and makes for better theatre than “Spiderman: Turn Off the Darkness.”
Buy “The Vagina Monologues” here
Previously on Porn Valley Observed: Theatre Review—Nina Hartley in “The Vagina Monologues”
See also: Third Degree