Genre: Drama, Erotic; Starring: Sheryl Lee, Craig Sheffer, Lois Chiles, Casey Siemaszko, Spalding Gray, Terence Stamp; Director: Lance Young; Author: Lance Young; MPAA Rating: R; Distributor: Triumph

Bliss is an eyeball-rollingly self-serious treatise about how a husband (Craig Sheffer) must learn to play his wife (Sheryl Lee) like a violin if he wants her to enjoy sex. No, wait. It’s about how the right sex guru (Terence Stamp), who does indeed play a fiddle, can instruct a willing student (that’s Sheffer again, in Skivvies) how to induce an orgasm in a woman so powerful (think Madeline Kahn in Young Frankenstein) that it unlocks whatever childhood traumas have been ailing her. Yow! First-time writer-director Lance Young layers so much pretentious, contempo psychosexual twaddle over this soft-core Zalman King-like thing that it is not unreasonable to want to shout to these guys, ”Show us the money shot or knock it off!” They do neither. Sheffer and Lee inspire no affection for their characters. And Stamp’s ecstasy educator is, psychosexually speaking, loony — fiddle, cigar, ejaculatory advice, and all. D

Originally posted June 20 1997 — 12:00 AM EDT

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