“I Like to Play Games” is a 1995 softcore movie starring the luscious Lisa Boyle. Lisa plays Suzanne, a high breasted woman who can not form a meaningful relationship with anyone except in the context of a perpetual swapping of dom/sub roles that she calls her ‘games’. She tells men this upfront but they play along anyway because they hope to get laid. Later they break up with her and file restraining orders because her games escalate to psychological terror. Men are such pussies.
The movie opens with the character of Michael, a sexually frustrated guy who tries to get dominant with his girlfriend and when she hesitates, he dumps her rather than communicate. If the dude had a copy of ‘Screw the Roses’, this whole movie wouldn’t have happened.
The next scene is Michael kickboxing and wrestling with another bare chested man, his best friend Nick. Michael explains that most women are too boring and he wants someone dangerous and exciting. He says this as his buddy manhandles him in a crowded gym full of men. Maybe it’s because I have more gay male friends than straight ones, but I got the impression that Michael’s problem had less to do with exciting women and more to do with women in general.
Suzanne shows up as a coworker in his office and Michael falls in lust. They go on a boring first date where Suzanne bitterly complains that “it was his turn and we could have done anything.” Michael asks for what they would have done if it was her turn, and she shows him. They go outside into a dirty alley, smoke pot and then make out.
See kids, marijuana is a gateway drug to kinky sex and late night cable movies.
An interesting thing happens at the makeout. Suzanne gets topless, Michael gets topless and bodies are writhing, but then we have some guests. Two very macho looking men drinking beer start slowly walking down the alley. You start thinking that there will be a mugging but no, the men angrily toss their bottles to the ground but they don’t even look at the top heavy girl writhing in front of them.
See, I don’t think they were real at all. I think they were symbolic of Micheal’s homosexuality walking away in disgust. It’s just not me, is it?
Suzanne and Michael’s affair blossoms. They engage in some good old fashioned role-playing as they take turns being dominant. Suzanne is the naughty schoolgirl that Michael scolds. Michael becomes the handcuffed slave to his Mistress. Sure things get out of hand like when Michael gets arrested for public exposure or when Suzanne restrained Michael and he didn’t go to an important meeting but that just makes the kinky sex more exciting.
We never get a ‘Fight Club’ moment where the rules are spelled out but I am here to help. Here are all of the rules of the Game as I have determined them.
#1. When it’s your turn, you can do anything.
#2. Games never repeat.
#3. You choke, you’re out. No replay.
I have to admit that for a softcore movie, I did enjoy the kinky games and flirting. You don’t need explicit hardcore action for a kinky scene, you just need a loss of power and a dominant figure. Suzanne is an insane woman which makes her terrifying as a domme. She is such an evil sadistic bitch that when Michael takes control, nothing he can come up with can punish Suzanne enough. It’s fun to try though. The more scared Suzanne gets, the more she loves it.
Michael’s friend and secret crush, Nick, pleads with Michael to walk away and reject women. Nick claims he used to play games with Suzanne too and he is just trying to protect his friend. I don’t buy it. Oh sure, Nick drools every time he sees Suzanne and at one point he offers to be her game partner again, but my jaded gaydar knows better. Nick is willing to take one for the team so that he can keep his wrestle buddy Michael free from corruption.
All good things have to come to an end. Just like in real life, things get awkward and out of control after the first threesome with a hooker. Nick overdoses on drugs as a desperate attempt to get Michael’s attention. Oh, he says he did it because Suzanne breaks his heart but I know it’s Michael he loves. Michael on the other hand starts pushing Suzanne’s boundaries and Suzanne decides to reciprocate in kind. In real life this would involve anal plugs and cock rings. In the world of movies, it will involve crushing his dreams, upstaging him at work and humiliating his ex girlfriend.
Michael is unappreciative. Suzanne lacks the basic ability to empathize with him. Or as she put it-
“I have given you more passion than you ever had in your account executive’s heart!”
Poor Suzanne. It’s hard enough being a switch in the real world but when you’re a psycho switch in a movie, no one understand you. I mean really, what’s so bad about convincing the ex-girlfriend of your lover to become a sex slave in the false hope of getting back with your current lover? Oh yeah, a lot.
The third act devolves into heartbreak, tears and a chopped off finger. Michael dumps Suzanne, begs for her to take him back and hits rock bottom. He goes back to homosexuality as symbolized by him returning to the gym with his only freal friend, Nick. Michael is still playing the game with Suzanne except now it’s a game of revenge and one up manship, which come to think of it, is still the game.
It ends with an attempted drowning followed by a declaration of love. What can I say? Breathplay can be really hot.
This really is one of my favorite softcore movies of all time. It’s just crazy enough to keep it interesting and it is the rare film that understands that the set up for sex is more important than the sex. Lisa Boyle might not be a good actress but I think she is an awesome bitch.
I give it Four out of Five Pam Griers.