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The Seventies were sexy and sleazy. At the epicenter of it all was Plato's Retreat, the controversial, first-ever swingers club. In New York's conservative Upper West Side, Plato's embraced adventurous couples who came to dance, to swim, and... to swap. It was the start of a revolution. The brainchild of Larry Levenson, the self-proclaimed King of Swing, Plato's Retreat quickly emerged as the mainstay of public sex for the me generation, welcoming anyone and everyone. For only $35, couples checked their judgments and pedigrees at the door; debutantes got it on next to bus drivers, as movie stars gave secretaries the starlet treatment. For Levenson and others, Plato s was a utopia. However, this wild party did not last. American Swing brings this enigmatic epic of excess to the screen for the first time.
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The movie is great at portraying that same thing I think. Even if people still shun this life choice, gay marriage, women's rites, interracial couples, you know, all the narrow minded people out there. Don't watch this movie is you don't like nudity and honesty, there is too much of both here.
The only thing I didn't like was the background music that the filmmakers have playing under much of the dialog. In most cases it's too loud and a bit distracting.
I found it interesting to see what that world was like in the days before the 4 Letter Acronym ruined everyone's sex lives. The 70's (or at least this aspect of it) was exactly as I think remembered it but was too young to make a judgement. I saw a bunch of trashy, self- serving, children of Bacchus engaged in nihilistic pursuits with a complete lack of consideration for the consequences of their behavior. I also saw a fledgling movement of idealists who soundly believed that your life belongs to you and no one else, and to live it in a manner less than satisfying to you is criminal. They believed in the notion that as long as you are not harming someone else (which of course they did but why nitpick) than you should be free to do as you please.
These seemingly disparate concepts fueled this movement, gave it momentum and then eventually led to it's demise. The underlying themes still thrive (sexual and personal freedom) but with significant, real world modifications. Swinging isn't dead, it's just grown up. They would probably cringe at today limitations, just as the wife and I cringed at their narcissistic excesses.