Scenes from the Class Struggle in Beverly Hills is a lewd delight. In top form here, director Paul Bartel brings a breezy, sophisticated touch to this utterley outrageous sex farce and thereby renders charming even the most scabrous moments in Bruce Wagner’s very naughty screenplay [from a story by him and Bartel].
Script is structured in the manner of a classical French farce, and features more seductions and coitus interuptus than a season of soap operas. Hoity-toity divorcee Mary Woronov is having her house fumigated and so, with her sensitive son, checks in for the weekend next door at the home of former sitcom star Jacqueline Bisset, whose husband has just kicked the bucket.
Joining the menagerie of the filthy rich are Woronov’s pretentious playwright brother Ed Begley Jr, his brand-new sassy black wife Arnetia Walker, Woronov’s crazed ex-husband Wallace Shawn, Bisset’s precocious daughter Rebecca Schaeffer, ‘thinologist’ Bartel and, in a surprisingly real apparition, Bisset’s late hubby, Paul Mazursky.
Droll tone is set at the outset by the quaintly 1950s titles and Stanley Myers’ witty score, and the comic champagne is kept bubbly with only the most momentary of missteps.