Adventures In Success: Review
Erica (Yaz Perea) has been roped in by a friend to go to what she has been told is a retreat where women get to know their bodies and learn the extent of which she can enjoy sexual pleasure. She has her concerns about going and no doubt there are things going through her mind like extended meditations sessions, chanting and crystals waved over naked bodies that do nothing.
However, she’s willing to give it a go and besides some of the more intense members of the group, Erica finds herself having a good time. The group have a rather charismatic and influential leader in Peggy (Lexie Mountain) though and her words start to have an influence on Erica. As do the ambitions of Peggy and her joyful, but ardent group of followers and so Erica finds that her place may be in this cult after all.
Adventures in Success is a satirical comedy about a group of people who some may say is a sex cult and it follows their attempts to get their message across when it seems like everybody around them is deeply cynical. Billed as a mockumentary, Adventures in Success is far more of a straightforward comedy.
That’s because where it could have been a comedy laughing about this small group of hippies trying to spread the word of peace and love, it shows a great affection for them.
There are many discussions about how they feel about themselves, their bodies and conversations about sexual politics and whereas a mockumentary would poke fun at people like that, the audience may find themselves agreeing with some of the cult’s points. Although there are moments which open up the control of Peggy’s words which remind the audience of its cult-like rules. However, although there are interviews to camera every now and then, it doesn’t feel like it’s often enough to make it feel like a true mockumentary.
The way it’s structured also makes it feel more like a conventional film, so the audience may forget its documentary influences entirely.
Perea puts in a good performance as Erica learns to let go and although Peggy is the most outwardly comedic character in the group, Mountain never makes her character turn into a parody. It may not be for everyone and those expecting a Christopher Guest style mockumentary may be disappointed, just go in with an open mind and try to shed the sceptical side and accept the love.
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