We all have our hang ups that bother us more that most. For me one of those is films about affairs, which I think almost always come off as morally repugnant. But here again we see how these things are always a matter of perspective. This is respectful of all of the reasons someone would want to have an affair while still also being honest about the larger problems involved. This offers no resolution, no endorsement, it just makes its central character sit in an uncomfortable middle ground. That is real. That is being a human being.
I’ve talked about the gender politics of his films in a lot of my Tashlin write ups. Here we get maybe the most overt handling of these themes, but still in a very complex/muddy way that makes it not entirely clear what the film is trying to get across. I wish someone would have shown more interest in this side of his work when he was alive so he could have elaborated on it. Right now this film feels down right feminist, but compromised and I want to know if that was studio pressure, intentional, what.
Super fun, as usual for Tashlin, but odd in it’s possible message. The film clearly wants to give a more complex portrayal to “the girl” and yet is fine using her for titillation. maybe that adds to the complexity? I wasn’t sure how to feel about it. I think it could have gone from a cute film to a amazing film if it would have backed up these darker ideas, both the gender stuff and the danger of the mob boss, which mostly felt too goofy. Is it weird to want to turn this film a little bit more tragic? It seems like it’s all there already.
Also I imagine the music is a big draw, but it was oddly integrated and again formed an uncomfortable juxtaposition. Featuring people like Abbey Lincoln, who I guess I have a more serious image of than the pop showcase against silly hubbah hubbah antics was weird. Still I enjoyed the movie a lot and it has stuck with me.