Kiss of Fire (1998)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
This drama is set on the remote coast of Dolphin Island where Italian Stefano Mauri mysteriously arrives out of the blue. He seeks employment at a hotel and meets Claudine, the hotel laundress. Claudine, who is subject to major mood swings, begins an enigmatic relationship with Stefano.
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as Stefano Mauri
as Chloe's Father
as Chole's Mother
as Mansion Caretaker
as Cockatoo Store Owner
as Traveling Salesman
as Asian Woman
as Elderly Woman No. 1
as Elderly Woman No. 2
as Claudine's Stepmom
as Bus Terminal Worker
as Bus Ticket Seller
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Critic Reviews for Kiss of Fire
Audience Reviews for Kiss of Fire
Any viewer expecting to find Applegate amidst a 'journey of erotic desire,' 'a world of seduction and betrayal,' or 'the seedy world of exotic dancing' as promoted by the case artwork and PR blurbs is going to be very disappointed indeed.
The film's best described as much akin to "9 1/2 Weeks," "Two Moon Junction," "Wild Orchid," "Lake Consequence," et. al. - with all the erotic scenes missing.
Given that fact - and the film's 90 minute length - it's not entirely unlikely that Applegate invoked a contractual clause allowing her to leave all her really naughty bits on the cutting-room floor.
What's left is plot and characterizations that barely stand on their own, atmospheric cinematography, an ethereal background score - and DVD cases desperately promoting sizzle where there's no steak.
Miramax repackaged and retitled the film (from "Christine's Return") in a lame attempt to break even on the go-to-video.
In 1998, Applegate was just off ten years of "Married With Children," a proven actress facing a serious typecasting issue to overcome. That's just the scenario that would lead her to toy with soft erotica, as it led Elizabeth Berkley to "Showgirls." The difference being Applegate's enormous, eternal MWC cash-flows would have allowed her to demand escape hatches in her contract.
And that difference may also explain the extraordinarily prudish lingerie worn during the quite brief gentlemen's club scene as portrayed on the box artwork.
Applegate's delivery is decent; her running partner is little more than Italian showhorse, resulting in low chemistry between the two - what chemistry not left on the cutting room floor, that is.
Evocative cinematography of Charleston and Savannah coastlines and landscapes remains intact.
Toward film's end, some semblance of interesting plot, dollopped with a bit of enigmatic & romantic mysticism, emerges.
RECOMMENDATION: As it stands, it's better suited to the Harlequin crowd.
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