“Candy”, based on the “provocative” novel by Terry Southern and Mason Hoffenberg, is a witless, impenetrable exercise in pseudo-psychodelic nonsense, grabbing at the newly relaxed sexual standards of the day yet only managing to emerge as an extended version of that most anemic of long running television smut fests, “Love American-Style”.
This smirking would-be comedy follows the misadventures, a la “Candide”, of young Candy Christian, an innocent who wishes to explore the world in a quest for free and pure love. Naturally, she is relentlessly set upon by all manner of loathsome characters whose libidinous designs upon her nubile frame are motivated by thoughts somewhat less pure than her own. Candy is an archetype innocent whose unfortunate encounters are meant to provide a comic counterpoint to her more naive motivations; a wanderer whose moral fortitude in the face of a parade of perversion is meant to provide a satiric comic suspense in that we are waiting for the breach in, if not her chastity, then her moral innocence. Unfortunately, as portrayed by the terminally doltish Ewa Aulin, we are merely left with an untalented actress who expresses every thought with a retarded phonetic squeal.
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