Home Video Hovel- Au Pair Girls, by Sarah Brinks
There are those who believe that the 1970’s was the best decade for cinema. The 70’s gave us films like Jaws, The Godfather, One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and Taxi Driver. The 70’s also gave us Au Pair Girls. A cinematic achievement in the “slap-and-tickle” genre. Apparently, that was a thing in the 70’s. Being a baby of the 80’s I can’t claim superiority over any other decade, but wow, the 70’s must been an interesting time. It was a time of sexual freedom, vibrant colors, and untamed pubic hair. All these are on display in Au Pair Girls.
According to the back of the Blu-Ray Au Pair Girls was part of a Euro sex film trend where film makers were making tongue-in-cheek sex spoofs without taking the final step into actual pornography. The box art might make you think otherwise, but there are no actual sex acts that take place on screen. There is however an exorbitant amount of unnecessary nudity. The au pairs in the movie (who never actually seem to do any “au pairing”) are always ready to strip down to their birthday suits at the drop of a hat.
To discuss the “plot” of Au Pair Girls is an exercise in futility. Essentially it is a day in the life of four sexually vibrant women who come to London to work as au pairs and instead find themselves in an array of comical situations. The women will be hence forth be known as: the virgin, the virginity snatcher, the Swedish meatball and the Danish nudist. The virgin ends up sleeping with a rail-thin, enormous joint smoking, hippie music sensation named Ricky Strange. The virginity snatcher ends up sleeping with her virgin piano prodigy, man-boy charge Rupert. The Swedish meatball seduces a sheik at a casino and the Danish nudist falls into some water, gets naked for the rest of the movie, and sleeps with her boss’ son in his car.
The music is oppressive and unrelenting throughout the whole entire film. There is a song that is sung over the opening credits that repeats multiple times with obnoxious horns and silly lyrics about how great the au pair girls are. It will find it’s way into your brain and replay itself like a fever dream from times gone by. Each of the au pairs has a musical theme for their adventure and the theme for the Danish nudist is spine-tinglingly bad. Au Pair Girls has the audio quality of listening to the film as through a thin hotel room wall. The dialog is often so quiet you can’t hear it, or the music is blaring over it so loud you can’t make it out.
One thing I will say is that it is a competently made film. Director Val Guest knows where to put a camera and how to follow the action through a scene. The sets in the film are often impressive and well designed. The acting, the sound, and the story are all shockingly bad, but it isn’t badly shot. There are no special features on the Blu-ray, just the ninety minute piece of cinema that is Au Pair Girls.
The film seems to know that it is ridiculous. It has the decency to never ask you to take it seriously. Having forty years of hind-sight only highlights the silliness of the film. However you can see how at the time it would read like a Not Another Teen Movie or an I Love You Beth Cooper type of movie today. Keeping all that in mind it is a terrible movie that really wasn’t worth the time and money to make a Blu-ray release. I can see how 70’s cinema enthusiasts could take it in the context of that decades cinematic landscape, but as a non-enthusiast I found it trite, borderline offensive in its portrayal of women, and one of the least sexy films I’ve ever seen. Do yourself a favor and watch American Pie or Wet Hot American Summer and feel proud of your generations achievements.