A Touch of Class American Steve Blackburn, in the insurance business, is married with two kids. Vickie Allessio, a self described design “stealer” for a knockoff fashion house, is a recent divorcée with two kids. Steve and Vickie are running into each other more and more in their day to day lives in London before even knowing who the other is, which suits them both fine, as when they do finally officially meet, Steve is up front that he wants to have an affair with her, Steve who has had affairs in the past whenever his wife Gloria, who is from old money, isn’t around which is currently the case as she is in the States visiting her parents. Vickie, in turn, is up front that she is amenable to a no-strings affair with him under specific circumstances, namely that it be at least a classy short term affair, meaning no cheap motels, and preferably a weekend away somewhere warm. Able to arrange a business trip to Málaga, Spain, for a week, Steve convinces Vickie to change their agreed weekend to a week and… They had the perfect love affair. Until they fell in love.
A Touch of Class starts off being about a married cad’s misadventures in attempting to hook up with a divorced woman who’s up for the no-strings-attached sex. It makes the movie’s title somewhat ironic, doesn’t it?
More than likely, “A Touch of Class” refers to double-Oscar winner Glenda Jackson (Women in Love and this movie), who’s just about one of the classiest actresses I’ve seen. Beautiful, regal, and armed with acerbic British wit, she’s the perfect foil to the brash and American George Segal, who incidentally looks just about the same 30 years ago as he does now in Just Shoot Me, except with a better body.
A Touch of Class demonstrates how opposites attract – something I’ve very familiar with. It’s a romantic comedy but its comedic element peaks halfway through the movie with a scene in which the two leads engage in an all-out battle that culminates in a clothes fight and a sex fumble. After that, it’s primarily about the two trying to make their love affair work despite Segal’s marriage. A successful romantic movie draws us into its convolutions by making us care for its characters and what become of them, which A Touch of Class achieves by giving us the realistic trials and tribulations of an extramarital couple.