February 26, 1998
The Female Woody Allen
Julie Davis, a 28-year-old Dartmouthgraduate and former Playboy Channel editor, shot "I Love You, Don'tTouch Me!" for an amazing $68,000. When money ran out, she hocked herbubbie's diamond ring to help finish her tale of a conscientious25-year-old Jewish virgin. A largely Jewish cast of newcomers,including Marla Schaffel, Meredith Scott Lynn and Mitchell Whitfield,stars in the film.
"I Love You" was a surprise hit at last year'sSundance Film Festival, where the young director was hailed as afemale Woody Allen ("being compared to him was the orgasm of mylife," she says). Distribution rights were picked by The SamuelGoldwyn Company ("my parents were kvelling"). MGM, which boughtGoldwyn last year, finally released the film last week at the SantaMonica AMC, Avco Westwood, and many local theaters.
Davis points out that the movies rarely allowJewish women to enjoy sexual chemistry with Jewish men, with the soleexception of "Crossing Delancey." "The Jewish girl on screen isalways nagging, grating and sexually uptight," says Davis. "I hope mymovie will be a corrective -- to show Jewish women as the wild,sexual, smart, funny, passionate women that they are, looking for menwho aren't intimidated by their strength, who are real intellectualchallenges."
Like her idol Woody Allen, Davis worked out herown angst on film. "It was so therapeutic for me," says Davis, and inmore ways than one. The film worked its magic on Scott Mandell, OrionPictures post production executive who was charmed by her revealingportrait and is now her boyfriend.
"I would never have been able to fall in lovewithout having made this film," says Davis. "This may have been themost expensive personals ad ever created."