This feels like one of those shandy pornos in which proper actors cover the drama and experts are brought in for the sexual content (there are a number of “Speciality Guests”, allegedly from New York… although that sounds fanciful given the funding). If it is, most of the beer has been removed leaving only the frothy lemonade of the “story”. Still when one of those performers is the lovely Luan and there are extensive scenes in a grocery store – I love the brands of yesteryear! – there’s some benefit to be had.
This early success is soon undermined as the story hobbles forward and not just those parts indicative of the couple’s stolid home life which is expressed through bathroom optimism and bedroom pessimism and that awkward kitchen silence hanging between Mr and Mrs Williams… He’s happy with his books and work and assumes that she’s happy with their son and security.
But Karen wants more from him… at least initially. But John’s a cold public-school man who thinks he’s done his bit for family and can now concentrate on his self-serving career.
|Vincent Ball and Sean Barry-Weske|
Karen goes for a drink with her mate Joan (Nicki Howorth) and spots Alex in the same pub… before you know it he’s whisked her off to go and watch Thunderclap Newman – yes them, “hey, look watch that sound…” – rehearse in a club. Maybe they we’re just free that day?
|Catching the 'clap in rehearsal...|
The deed is done… and Karen feels nothing of it until signs begin to show that Alex is intent on leveraging the “situation for his further gain… sending her copies of photographs taken during their illicit meeting.
|Joan and Karen at the swinger's do...|
Spoilers: Naturally events catch up with Karen when hubby is dragged to a gentlemen’s club by a client - a nice turn by Bill Shine as old duffer, Captain Harrison - where he is astonished to find his wife “acting” in a stag movie. Like all good public school-educated boy he is appalled at Karen’s infidelity and all stroppy-heck breaks lose.
|Not the movie he was expecting|
Dusty Verdict: Not Tonight… is not a good film in many respects, darling, but it is worth watching for the period details and for a decent performance by Luan Peters who could easily have handled a better script and fuller characters around her.
It’s directed by Anthony Sloman who went on to become a noted film commentator and a fellow of the BFI.
Availability-wise, the film seems to be quite deep undercover although it has been shown recently on Talking Pictures.
Trivia: Luan Peters apparently has a fine singing voice and she briefly replaced singer Tina Charles when she left the pop group 5000 Volts to go solo!
|Hard to knock this for seventies supermarket fantasy|