In parodying films made for TV, writer George McGrath and director Jim Drake whipped up the story of a professional perfume sniffer who, in need of an olfactory transplant, goes in search of her birth mother and her two sisters, none of whom she’s ever seen. Often on target, the two-hour spoof, lasting too long and covering too much territory, shrivels up in silliness.
Satin (Morgan Fairchild), working for perfume magnate Varda Gray (Dyan Cannon), can’t sniff the lilacs any longer and so begins her quest. Characters are supposedly the heart of the frolic: Michael St. Gerard as Gray’s chauffeur named Crack (lots of laughs there, of course!), Harvey Korman’s Dr. Meir, Satin’s wayward hubby (Robert Goulet), Gray’s mad son (David Byron) and Satin’s offbeat sisters (Ricki Lake, Victoria Jackson).
Tossed into the spinner are a string of topless murders, transsexualism, lots of unfunny remarks and actions about the word “smell,” and Satin’s many outfit changes, but they don’t earn many smiles, much less guffaws.
Fairchild looks lovely, but her comedy takes seem like community theater, and Varda Gray doesn’t provide much material for Cannon’s comedy gifts.
Michael Novotny’s production design is excellent, and Laura Karpman’s score helps bridge the gaucheries. Frank Byers’ lensing, Norman Hollyn’s editing are fine.