Twenty-One

Like 'Darling,' the mod saga of a model on the make that won Julie Christie an Oscar in the Sixties, Twenty-one is a showcase for its star. And Patsy Kensit, former lead singer of Eighth Wonder and Mel Gibson's lithesome bed mate in Lethal Weapon 2, seizes her big moment. Kensit is sensational as a whirling sexual dervish with a tough core of intelligence and wit. Her Katie, a Brit office worker with an eye toward career advancement in the Big Apple, makes her entrance in the bathroom. Addressing the camera directly, Katie says that she's not looking for intimacy or eternal love (she's only twenty-one), "just a straightforward fuck." When director and co-writer Don Boyd lets Katie cut loose with her observations on sex and the Nineties woman, the film is good spiky fun. But Boyd wants to go deeper and make a profound statement. Katie's relationships with her gay friend Baldie (Maynard Eziashi of Mister Johnson) and her junkie lover, Bobby (Rufus Sewell), are meant to give the film a tragic weight it can't and needn't carry.

From The Archives Issue 182: March 13, 1975