The French Phrase “Au Pair” translates into “on par”, it is a term of respect offered to certain caregivers of children who not only live with their employers, but often become an esteemed member of that family for all intents and purposes. This term of familial respect is perhaps the most ironic title for the female characters of a soft-core sexploitation film as the nubile women who exist in these wacky B-movie worlds (without exception) are not often portrayed in positions of power, respect, or anything remotely resembling egalitarianism. Often topless, equally brainless, and always down for a some kicks, such female characters spend much of the film chasing their destinies, shedding their inhibitions like so many clothes, and learning a little bit about themselves before they are done. One need only check the date of production to know that it will be madcap dash on and off of the sheets, where every nightclub scene features a “wakka wakka” porno guitar backup band, every man they meet will be a smooth talking hustler with a goofy haircut and a secret dark backstory, and every women will be as naïve, bouncy and uncontrived as their own unaltered 70s boobs. So let these Au Pair tend to our male inner child. With any luck they may make all of us forget that we were weaned years ago.
The first thing I noticed is that these films are almost a direct English copy of the Roger Corman films where he took a group of young insatiable women with different hair colors (all sharing the same occupation) and featured their day-to-day experiences as they each had sexy adventures with a new boyfriend or suitor. In previous reviews I have seen this exact same formula applied to stewardesses and nurses by the box set, so it seems only natural to apply this exact dynamic assigned here, to child care workers.
Our multicultural squad of sexy servants includes Randi, a Danish girl who gets saddled with an insufferable British trust fund baby of a man; Christa, an innocent German who loses her virginity to a skeevy Jim Morrison-type; Nan, a Chinese woman who serves what appear to be a family of wealthy vampires (she eventually becomes friends and then lovers with their twenty something son who is obviously a gifted pianist if not severely autistic). Finally, we have Anita, a Swiss blonde bimbo who can’t be bothered to wear clothes and almost becomes part of a harem of a rich, well-meaning sheik. Note, by calling a guy who owns women “well meaning” I am not admitting I have finally snapped after seeing too many movies with female slaves or prisoners in them and now consider that “normal” behavior, I am just saying that he is the only man in this thing who has any type of genuine concern for the well-being of any of the women in this thing whether before, during, or after he screws them. In fact he doesn’t succeed in bedding Anita despite his bizarre advances (which provide some comedy relief). In the end you have to root for the eccentric sheik character because, at the conclusion of this, when all of the women’s’ relationships with their host families are all but ruined (leaving them destitute in a foreign country) our friendly sheik comes to the rescue, driving off into the sunset with all of these emotionally vulnerable women in the back of his giant “pimped out” limo. Their futures are certainly open for interpretation, but I always like to give the benefit of the doubt to the ultimate motivations of any male movie protagonist who possess the unlimited wealth of a James Bond villain, the subtle decorating sensibility of Donald Trump and lives with a couple of pretty blonde consorts dressed like the title character from I DREAM OF JEANNIE. The girls will be just fine…
Now before any of you call “spoiler alert” on me like a bunch of jawless jerks from the foppish, formalistic film-reviewing school of Roger Ebert, let me just remind you that this is English soft-core sexploitation in the perfect tradition of Corman. The only plot twists and turns you need watch for with any attention to detail is the unique individual curvatures of each female protagonist’s “Au Pairs”, and they will all be revealed in time. Even the cover of the Blu-ray features a close-up of a random girl’s rear, so you should well know that all plot developments are only a dramatic device for disrobing.
Au Pair Girls represents the third U.S. release in Redemption’s Jezebel line on Blu-ray, brought to us courtesy of the folks at Kino Lorber. The 1.66:1 transfer offers a clear, crisp image, but, as with most vintage films of this particular genre, there’s a healthy amount of flecks, pops, and the usual light print damage. The DTS-HD Master Audio Mono track perfectly captures the distinctively early seventies Air Supply sounding opening/title theme that is so inspiring, it makes you want to get up and stomp your feet at once (through your subwoofer). Dialogue is clear, and there’s minimal distortion.
There are no special features included in this release, but did you really expect any?
Au Pair Girls is not a bad film, it’s just an uneven mix of opposite themes that I found a bit schizophrenic. It’s too depressing to be just another fun, soft-core sex romp, yet too absurd to be taken seriously as a drama. It is listed as a comedy, but I am guessing that if the mere sight of naked breasts still makes you giggle uncontrollably you are probably too young to be watching this.