Dan Aykroyd has some of the greatest comedy credentials of all time ranging from the ‘Blues Brothers’ to the ‘Coneheads’, so it’s unclear why “Exit to Eden” caught his eye. There are many movies that are worse than this sexy comedic flop, but this isn’t a film worth watching again and again either. It could be that he was a fan of Anne Rice, famous for her vampire novels, who penned the novel, or he maybe wanted to wear a lot of leather (who could blame him if he did?). The film also starred Rosie O’Donnell, and the two must have thought that the content was funny and interesting, or they wanted a healthy paycheck. Garry Marshall, of ‘A League of Their Own’ fame, was brought on to direct the film and probably brought with him other cast members including O’Donnell.
The original story in the novel didn’t the characters, Fred and Sheila, played by Dan Aykroyd and Rosie O’Donnell. It was Marshall who would change the tone of the film by adding these characters and changing the main story to a secondary tale. While the sex may been enough for many fans, it isn’t hard to see why they thought to incorporate a comedy plot into the film. Nudity is everywhere and sexual awkwardness is funny on many levels. Clearly, the film was going to be rated R, but the film makers may have been concerned about a possible NC-17 rating which would have been a killer for the film, just as it would prove to be a few years later for a film starring Elizabeth Berkley. However, the result was not a better film.
‘Exit to Eden’ starts by introducing the character Elliot Slater. He is a sexually repressed photographer. While taking random shots with his camera, he inadvertently takes a picture of an internationally renowned diamond thief. This wouldn’t be an issue except that no other pictures of him exist, so he follows Elliot to an island which doubles as a sexual resort to retrieve the pictures. Elliot has had sexual issues his entire life and prefers to be tied up and spanked. These issues began as a child when his mother spanked him, but he hopes to overcome them on the island. There, he meets Mistress Lisa (Dana Delaney) who initially punishes him for his actions, but she soon begins to fall for him. Two undercover cops after the jewel thief also head to the island. They are Fred (Dan Aykroyd) and Sheila (Rosie O’Donnell). While everyone else plays, they work on finding the jewel thief even though they have no idea what he looks like. Eventually, action and love ensue, and, in the end, everything works out for the better.
Honestly, they should have cut out the comedy plot from the movie and just went with the sexy thriller with a little comedy tossed in for good measure. There is an incredibly sexy scene in the film involving butter and cinnamon. After watching that scene, you’ll probably agree that this storyline should have been embraced. It would allow for more time to develop Elliot and Lisa, and you can still have the storyline with the jewel thief. Overall, this movie was a wasted opportunity to have a film that was full of nudity and good. Instead, it is full of nudity, bad, and not really funny at all just like a few other nudity laden films.