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The 100




Racquet
(1979)
Reviewed by John Weber
Rating: 7 Beans

nyone wanna see 70's game show host Bert Convy without his pants on? Anyone? Anyone?

Well, if you ever get that craving, "Racquet" is where you should turn. It's the story of a tennis pro who sleeps with his clients. Convy plays one Tommy Everett, a former champion who wants a tennis court of his own. Instead, he has to work for Charlie (Bobby Riggs - yes, THAT Bobby Riggs) at his place. Tommy's basically a gigolo with a backhand. His best (and richest) client: Mrs. Sergeant (Edie Adams), who has so many sexual fantasies that Tommy can't keep track of which one they're doing. If Tommy keeps servicing her, she'll lend him 200-thou so he can buy his own tennis court/club. But, alas, Tommy gets caught in the appearance of fooling around with Edie's houseguest. So, no check. Does Tommy go trolling for more dough with a larger, fatter, uglier, richer client? Or does he finally muster up the courage to say "no", thus winning him the heart of his longtime on-again, off-again girlfriend (the very lovely Lynda Day George)?

Well, what do you think happens?

"Racquet" is filled with lousy, unfunny bits of business. In fact, they're so bad that I find them humorous in a pathetic sort of way. The worst: when Convy is hijacked by several large black muggers. Bert tries to talk himself out of trouble by saying "Look, fellas, I'm a soul brother, too. Look at my curly hair. Right on. Mother-f**ker".

Bert also tells Edie, while they're role-playing as the Bionic Man and the Bionic Woman, that he has a
"bionic peeper". Now there's a revelation!

Other embarassments: Phil Silvers as Edie's husband, a loud businessman with a yen for Limberger cheese and gobbling noises during sex. Ha ha. We get to see him wearing chicken feathers and boxer shorts, gobbling. Tanya Roberts ("Charlie's Angels") pops up in a nothing part as Convy's roommate (platonic, it seems). Tennis star Bjorn Borg makes his acting "debut" with some mumbled words into a TV interview mike.

Bert Convy just plays Bert Convy - he does it quite well, actually. He is tough to dislike, even in this. But I kept waiting for Charlie Brill and Mitzi McCall or Dick Clair and Jenna McMahon or one of those quasi-celeb couples that used to turn up on "Tattletales" every week.

I don't know...there's something about hearing Bert Convy, Mr. Game Show Host and Panelist say things like "Mother-f**ker" and "wanna f**k?" that makes "Racquet" extremely amusing to me. And if you like ineptness...








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