Monday, December 21, 2009

Some Like it Hot

A few years back, I decided to try and watch all of the AFI's top 100 movies. I may never finish, as there are some I'm just not looking forward to seeing (Your ears are burning, Jazz Singer).

Sometimes, I don't see what all the fuss is about (A Streetcar Named Desire, The Manchurian Candidate). Other times, I like the film well enough, but its greatness doesn't connect with me, for whatever reason (The Maltese Falcon, Rear Window). Then there are those that I watch and say, "Yep. This is a classic. Even if it's hella old and in black and white, it's awesome." Casablanca and On the Waterfront are good examples.

Well, add Some Like it Hot to that last category. In a word, it's delightful. Comedy doesn't usually hold up as well across generations, but even watching it alone, I found myself lol'ing. One of the great things about watching these flicks is finally getting all the cultural allusions that have sprung from them. I mean, without this film, there's probably no Bosom Buddies! I never knew where that "I Wanna Be Loved By You" song with the "Boo-boo-be-do" line came from. It was also largely filmed at a locale where I've actually been, the Hotel Del on Coronado Island in San Diego.

Jack Lemmon and Jamie Leigh Curtis' dad are hilarious as cross-dressing musicians on the run from the mob. I especially enjoyed Curtis' husky woman voice and Lemmon's screwy facial gesticulations.

Then there's Marilyn. To be honest, I never completely got the appeal before. I'd never seen one of her movies, just a bunch of still shots (yeah, you know the ones I mean) and newsreel footage. Well, I get it now. She's sexy as hell. I can't say that she's much of an actress (her lip-synching is so off that I assumed that wasn't really her singing those songs until I looked it up), but who cares? Apparently, there was quite an uproar when the film was released (the Catholic League rated it "C" for "Condemned"), and I can see why. Even though it's just kissing, Marilyn simply oozes sex.

Then there are the not-so-subtle homosexual themes. Lemmon's character dreams of running away with an effete millionaire. The two make quite a couple, even if Curtis tries to reason with him, "What would a guy want to marry another guy for?" Ah, the innocence of 1959. Then there's the film's closing line: "Well, nobody's perfect!" I'll leave the context out to avoid spoilers, but it's funny, trust me.

Nolanometer Final Grade: A-

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