Just When You Thought it was Safe to Have Casual Sex
Having ruffled a few feathers where he was working Dr. Kyle Richards (Anthony Geary) finds himself heading to Paradise Island, a holiday resort, to cover whilst their existing GP is on holiday. It is there that he runs in to his old friend Tommy (Mark Harmon) who is not just the local tennis instructor but he is also the resort stud who makes a habit of bedding the pretty young visitors who hire him for tennis lessons. There is though one woman who refuses to fall for Tommy's charms which is Marsha (Judith Light), a single mum who works as a waitress. What Kyle discovers is that not only do many of the residents on the island have herpes but they are all in denial about it leading to Kyle making the tough decisions to go public to try and warn people about the disease.
First time I stumbled across "Intimate Agony" I actually miss-read the title as "Inmate Agony" and then when I realised my mistake thought oh no, another scare teenagers with the dangers of unprotected sex movie. It turns out I was wrong because for a movie about a sexually transmitted disease this is anything but the preachy sort of movie which once got made. In fact "Intimate Agony" is quite a well thought out movie which attempts to inform on the far reaching effect of herpes had back in 1983 before the threat of AIDS became the main focus of these sort of made for TV movies. And it does inform with Kyle educating those who have the virus the dangers which may come from having it be it pregnancies or having unprotected sex and as such we see how for some it has a knock on effect in their relationships and how they feel about themselves.
But what you also get in "Intimate Agony" is almost something akin to "Jaws", yes that's right I am on about the classic shark movie. It is the set up as we have an island which has a booming tourist industry with many exploring having casual sex whilst there and the resort manager played by Robert Vaughn who does not want Kyle going public and scaring off tourists when he says there is an epidemic going on. It actually provides a nice vehicle for all the information to be relayed to the audience from one patient concerned they may have herpes but the symptoms have gone to a young girl who is concerned of the dangers if she were to become pregnant.
What this all boils down to is that "Intimate Agony" is not the cheesy, preachy movie you probably expect from a movie which deals with the subject of a sexually transmitted disease. In fact it cleverly uses something akin to a disaster movie set up with a holiday resort more concerned with tourist trade over safety as a way of informing the audience not just about herpes as a disease but also showing how it effects people and their relationships.