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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sunday Movie Review: "Sex and the Single Girl" (1964)

I can't ignore the obvious. This site has had some... pretty major changes with it's interface within the last few days. It's been quite nearly a three day process (as anyone who's been on here recently might be familiar with; and for that I apologize), but I'm finally finished and quite pleased with it. Gone are the polka dots and the drive in; my new design I (hope) is cleaner & fresher. I'd been wanting to replace the old one for quite sometime (as I've had it for a year and it was becoming way too cluttered from my taste) but never knew just what to replace it with, and finally I was able to settle on a header and a color scheme and everything bloomed from there. So it's staying - for a while, I think. I've also overhauled the 'about me' and 'Sunday Movie Review' pages. (I cleaned up my favorite actor & actresses pages a few weeks ago, as well). Any thoughts?

This is the first review I've done in a month! It's hard to get back into the swing of this so today is a short review from my 'Netflix archives'. I hope no one minds and I promise my next SMR will actually be quality - or as quality as I can get, anyways!

What have you all been watching lately? I've been watching so many more movies from the 60s and even 70s because of Julie Andrews! Would you believe that I only saw one movie from the 40s (my favorite decade in film) last month? My most watched decade in July was the 1960s, so I guess I'm going through a bit of a 60s phase right now. Anyways, here's my archive review, as these always are it's much shorter than my usual reviews so do forgive me.


SEX AND THE SINGLE GIRL (1964): Cast, plot details

A womanizing reporter (Tony Curtis) for a sleazy tabloid magazine impersonates his hen-pecked neighbor in order to get an expose on renowned psychologist Helen Gurley Brown (Natalie Wood). Lauren Bacall & Henry Fonda costar as Tony Curtis's friends who add to a string of misunderstandings. [from IMdb - with doctoring by me]
  • Natalie Wood as Helen Gurley Brown
  • Tony Curtis as Bob Weston
  • Henry Fonda as Frank
  • Lauren Bacall as Sylvia 


Not nearly as exciting as it sounds, it's a 60s rom com through and through, with a finish that's over the top while managing to be only a little funny.
You can tell there were depending one one thing - er rather, one word? - to be able to truly sell this film: Sex. You can tell from the moment the word was blown up onto the screen in the opening credits. Movie-goers in 1964 were scandalized by it, all the while excited to get their tickets. The "scandalous" title was really just a trick to get movie-goers into the theaters. It's truly an innocent, glossy romantic comedy lacking even the tiniest drop of real gritty stuff. Why, Natalie Wood's earlier "Splendor in the Grass," with such a innocent title, was much more high strung than this average 60's rom-com. Very much a Doris Day-Rock Hudson movie with different actors. Natalie Wood is great in this - there is a sadly ironic scene in which she tries to stop Tony Curtis from drowning himself - but from what i read in her biography, she was not pleased with this and wanted more work like "Splendor." Tony Curtis is decent, too (everyone thinks he looks like Jack Lemmon in that movie "where they dressed up like women"). Fun to see Lauren Bacall and Henry Fonda in this star studded vehicle, as well. Mel Ferrer (I remember him only as Audrey Hepburn's husband) is in this, too. The last twenty minutes of the movie take place out on the street on a moter-bike, ice cream truck, taxis, cars, and who-knows-what-else. A true 60's romantic comedy - and though the title may suggest more, it sticks straight to the status quo. Since I love pretty much everyone in this, I give this a passing grade. 

  • This movie inspired the 2003 Renee Zellweger movie Down With Love.
  • One of the supporting cast members died on the day of the film's premiere.



Dani said...

Hey there! It's been a long time...
I LOVE the new layout! It's definitely an improvement over the previous one and like the music selection better, too. Well done.

As for the movie - although I love Natalie in it - I don't think it's a great one. It's entertaining and I loved to see Henry Fonda in his role, but that's it. I'm not crazy about Tony Curtis, though.

I've been watching a lot of 1930s and 1940s stuff, but I still love the 60s. Did you watch Star! yet? Did you like it?

LĂȘ said...

The improvements in the layout were great, although I really enjoyed the Sunday Movie Review film in the drive-in. Oh, and the music bar is perfect!
I haven't watched this film yet, but Tony Curtis and Henry Fonda make me excited to do so. One of my favorites 60's comedies is The Great race, also with Curtis and Wood, adding Jack Lemmon as the villain.

Rianna said...

Dani: Hi! It has been a while! Thank you, I'm so glad you like the new layout:) And I agree with you about the movie. There were elements I liked to it, I liked the cast (obviously), but overall I felt it wasn't that great, and too long. I did watch Star!. I thought it was pretty entertaining & I love Julie in it, of course! :D (I also watched Mary Poppins again - and my feelings are the same.)

Le: I'm going to miss the drive-in, too, but am kinda happy I don't have to change the header every other week. (Plus I love having Lucy up there ;D). I have seen The Great Race, I wasn't really crazy about it but the cast is fabulous! Vivian Vance (Ethel from 'I Love Lucy') even had a small role in there! And Blake Edwards as the director to top it off.

Dani said...

Haha. I don't think I'll ever try to watch that movie again. Even though I payed over US$20 for the DVD.
Oh, and I have another recommendation for you: if you still haven't heard it, you should get the My Fair Lady soundtrack, from the 1959 London production (with Julie and Rex Harrison). It's amazing!

Rick29 said...

I love this genre of 1960s comedy, but SEX AND THE SINGLE GIRL doesn't compare favorably to Doris's films of that period. But, like you, I like the stars so that makes it modestly entertaining.

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