The Happy Hooker Goes to Washington (1977)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Sex Comedy  |   Run Time - 89 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Fred Beldin

The second installment in the "Happy Hooker" cinematic trilogy stars leggy former bombshell Joey Heatherton as the titular heroine (replacing Lynn Redgrave), plus a cast that features nearly every working character actor of the era who had a free afternoon. Familiar faces and names abound, but The Happy Hooker Goes To Washington is noisy and unfunny, a limp apolitical farce with an adolescent sexuality. Heatherton has a certain amount of sparkle but never enough to steal the show; the script doesn't help her much, since more than half of her dialogue consists of juvenile one-liners that turn her into a third rate Mae West impersonator. William A. Levey's direction has improved since the maddening clumsiness of early work like Wham Bam Thank You Spaceman and Blackenstein, so the film is presentable enough, but the story is riddled with flashbacks and and extraneous action, ensuring a ragged pace. The level of political sophistication never rises above the level of the average Tonight Show monologue, and the film's Benny Hill-style bawdiness belies the image of Xaviera Hollander as a crusader for sexual enlightenment. Approach only as a period piece from the years of gas shortages and wide lapels, perhaps as a double bill with the even more execrable Linda Lovelace For President.