Private Resort (1985)

Private Resort (1985)

Taglines: Where every room has a great view.

Johnny Depp and Rob Morrow star as Jack and Ben, respectively, teen buddies who are on the sexual prowl for beautiful, wealthy girls at a posh Miami resort where they are weekend guests. Also on the prowl is The Maestro (Hector Elizondo), a skilled jewel thief who is pursuing the diamond necklace of society woman Amanda Rawlings (Dody Goodman). When they accidentally run afoul of the Maestro, Ben and Jack suddenly have their hands full.

A wacky teenage sex comedy of the sort that proliferated in the mid-1980s, this farce is notable for featuring two lead actors who would go on to bigger and better things. Rob Morrow and Johnny Depp star as Ben and Jack, respectively, teen buddies who are on the sexual prowl for beautiful, wealthy girls at a posh Miami resort where they are weekend guests.

Also on the prowl is The Maestro (Hector Elizondo), a skilled jewel thief who evades detection by cross-dressing as a woman while he pursues the diamond necklace of society woman Amanda Rawlings (Dody Goodman). When they accidentally run afoul of the Maestro, Ben and Jack suddenly have their hands full. Private Resort was the third in a series of comic teen sex romps from producer R. Ben Efraim, each of which had the word Private in the title.

Private Resort (1985) - Emily Longstreth

Review for Private Resort

No matter how much study a critic puts into his craft, no matter how many movies he sees, and no matter how much he may profess to know about the medium, there will always be films that catch you off guard. No, I’m not talking about A Bout de Souffle. Eternal Sunshine, begone. I’m talking about no less than the most amazing cinematic experience I’ve had in more months than I can count: Private Resort.

Directed by George Bowers, the auteur responsible for such classics as My Tutor and The Hearse, Private Resort is a 1985 sex comedy starring a young Rob Morrow (and a younger Johnny Depp) as two teenagers hell-bent on getting laid while at a posh Florida resort. Crass and ridiculous in all the best possible ways, the film features a host of scantily-clad (or altogether nude) co-eds, as well as enough hair-raising scenarios to sustain at least five or six American Pie sequels. So why, then, does this unearthed classic come to DVD at long last in such a lackluster package?

Morrow plays Ben. Depp plays Jack (not to be confused with his iconic persona from the Pirates movies). They like girls – old ones, young ones, and especially naked ones. Wackiness, as one might expect, summarily ensues: horndog Jack sneaks into Bobbie Sue’s (Police Academy’s Leslie Easterbrook) room for a romp, only to discover that her thief husband, The Maestro (Hector Elizondo), is in the next room. Ben, coming to the rescue, pretends to be the resort barber – that is, until he butchers the Maestro’s mane. A wild chase follows, culminating in a scene where The Maestro has to work out in order to infiltrate the aerobics class where the boys are hiding. Hilarious!

Private Resort (1985)

But that’s just the first of many funny sequences. Later, Jack imitates a doctor in order to woo a comely co-ed named Dana (Karyn O’Bryan), while Ben reluctantly agrees to date her crazy cousin Shirley (Hilary Shepard). The Maestro, on a mission to recover a precious diamond from another guest, affects a European accent and pitches woo to Mrs. Rawlings (Grease’s Dody Goodman) – who just so happens to be Shirley’s mom (though, sadly, no ‘shirley you’re joking’ payoff). And when Ben leaves a bottle of Quaaludes in their suite, Mrs. Rawlings takes some of them, finds herself all hot and bothered, and puts the moves on the real resort barber. Unbelievable!

In classic ’80s comedy form, no matter how many nubile bodies pass the screen, our heroes inevitably pair off for monogamous lovemaking. With Jack it’s young Dana, and with Ben it’s Patti (Emily Longstreth), a sweet waitress who is under the thumb of supervisor Scott (Valley Girl’s Michael Bowen). But before everyone can live happily ever after, a colossal misunderstanding, the stealing of a precious diamond, a case of mistaken identity and an impromptu fashion show come between our would-be sweethearts, all building to a brilliantly-rendered, absolutely unbelievable stand-off between Ben, Jack, Patti, The Maestro, head of security Reeves (Tony Azito), and Mike (Greg Wynne), a dim-witted forebear of Bill and Ted who marvels at crazy stuff like “a real grandma.”

What else could you possibly want from a movie? Two dudes in search of some ass! The bosoms of Police Academy’s Callahan! Horny old ladies taking Quaaludes! Sexy young girls in various states of undress! Crime subplots! Golf-playing sumo wrestlers! Andrew Dice Clay before he became The Diceman! The naked asses of both Morrow and Depp! A completely superfluous shootout with semi-automatic weapons in the middle of a buffet line packed with potential civilian casualties! And the triumphant celebration of our heroes after they thwart the bad guy and find true love with their bikini-clad soul mate!

Movies like Private Resort come only ten or twenty times a decade. Especially if that decade is the 1980s. But there’s always going to be something said for films that try to do only two things: make you laugh, and make you horny. Bowers’ masterpiece does both. So while accomplished auteurs and meticulous moviemakers ply their trade with works that sustain the stuff of life itself, exploring issues and emotions that are felt not just by one or two but all of us during our lifetimes, pick up Private Resort as an alternative to all of that artsy-fartsy nonsense.

Alexander Pope once said that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but in the case of this film an equally classic epigram holds true: he who laughs last, laughs loudest. With Private Resort, I guarantee you’ll be laughing well after it ends – and if you do it right, your chuckles will probably have precious little to do with the film itself.

Private Resort Movie Poster (1985)

Private Resort (1985)

Directed by: George Bowers
Starring: Rob Morrow, Johnny Depp, Emily Longstreth, Toni Azito, Dody Goodman, Leslie Easterbrook, Hector Elizondo, Karyn O’Bryan, Hilary Shepard
Screenplay by: Alan Wenkus, Gordon Mitchell, Ken Segall
Production Design by: Michael Corenblith
Cinematography by: Adam Greenberg
Film Editing by: Samuel D. Pollard
Costume Design by: Jill M. Ohanneson
Set Decoration by: Gayle Simon
Distributed by: TriStar Pictures
Release Date: May 3, 1985