Private Lessons (1981)

Private Lessons (1981)

“Fifteen is the perfect age. Just think: you’re giving him private lessons — an advanced education!”

A sexy maid (Sylvia Kristel) is forced by her unscrupulous co-worker (Howard Hesseman) to seduce the wealthy teenage boy (Eric Brown) they both work for.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Blackmail
  • Comedy
  • Coming-of-Age
  • May-December Romance

This dated, unfunny sex comedy features awful acting, a distasteful plot, and genuinely few redeeming qualities. Sylvia Kristel — best known as the title character in 1974’s soft-core cult hit Emmanuelle — is sexy but stilted, while Eric Brown as the unbelievably naive teen she seduces is instantly forgettable.

The flimsy storyline (involving blackmail and a faked death) is merely an implausible excuse for “titillating” scenes of reverse-Lolita seductions — somewhat shocking only because Brown was actually underage during filming (Kristel used a body double). Watch 1983’s Risky Business for a much more enjoyable variation on the same theme.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Ed Begley, Jr. in a small role as a tennis instructor-turned-“cop”

Must See?
No; skip this clunker.


One thought on “Private Lessons (1981)

  1. Your basic crap (iow, not a must).

    And what’s the target audience? – aside from carbon copies of the two young male friends spearheading this tedious, ultimately ludicrous wet dream. Even such a crowd would be antsy waiting to be turned-on (and would fast-forward if watching at home).

    If Kristel did, in fact, use a double, what was the point of that?! She’s clearly all over the kid, anyway. If we’re talking legality, there’s a fine (if not invisible) line here.

    Begley, Jr. does salvage a few moments – with lines he seems to have come up with himself; they’re in sharp contrast to the bulk of the witless, puerile script.

    The whole thing’s ghastly.

    1981 also saw the release of Kristel (better than one would expect, though still seemingly sedated) in Just Jaeckin’s somewhat classy, somewhat groundbreaking, soft-core version of ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ – with the yummy Nicholas Clay as the definitive Mellors. Peary chose not to include that title in his book, but made sure to point out the piffle that is ‘Private Lessons’. Go fig.

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