Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Cinema Tuesdays {Sex and the Single Girl}

I've been waiting for a month with five Tuesdays in it so that I can screencap five of my favourite Sixties Sex Comedies, including two brilliant, but sadly forgotten movies that are very hard to find (I'm doing one of them for next week as soon as I've transferred my worn out VHS to my computer). I love Sixties Sex Comedies for their brilliant interior designs and costumes!
The plot of Sex and the Single Girl (which bares little resemblance to the book) is quite similar to Down With Love.Or the other war round rather. Edward Everett Horton plays the chief of STOP magazine, which was started by his great-grandmother. Thanks to the determination and hard work of his staff, they've managed to turn STOP into the lowest, filthiest rag with the highest circulation.
STOP is so low that they even have coin operated washrooms.
The star of STOP is Bob Weston, managing editor. STOP has just published an article on Dr. Helen Brown, the best-selling author of Sex and the Single Girl, which encourages women to "own their sexuality", calling her a 23 year old virgin. His new idea is to write an exposé on Dr. Brown as to whether or not she does. His angle is to prove that she's not that type of girl and when she sues, she will have to prove that she is that type of girl. Or to prove that she's a nymphomaniac floozy and sues to prove that she isn't. Either way, STOP wins.
Naturally Helen is angry at the article and wants to sue because it is losing her patients. But if she has gone to grad school, earned a Ph.D, written a best-seller and has a job at a research institute and her own practice by the time she is 23, then this blog has already made me a millionaire.
But I really like Natalie Wood's bob in this period. And her makeup and earrings are understated, but still stunning and offers a nice contrast to the massive cocktail rings that she wears. Natalie Wood is just adorable in the movie and is just right for the part, which could have been easily over or under done.
Mel Ferrer plays Rudy, Helen's co-worker. The article's release coincided with a new patient he's been treating with a Don Juan complex, so he's gotten a few ideas about developing his relationship with Helen.

Fran Jeffries (who sings the title song) plays Gretchen, Bob's girlfriend. She doesn't want to get married because she's focusing on her career as a singer for Count Basie's band. But she and Bob like to play house together and she has very nice pyjamas. Actually, Tony Curtis' character can cook, which isn't explored in the film.

Lauren Bacall and Henry Fonda play Frank and Sylvia Broderick, Bob's best friends and neighbours. Sylvia is unreasonably jealous of what Frank gets up to at the office.
Frank makes stockings and is always thinking about how to improve his business and keep up with the competition.
So their nightly fights end with Frank going to Bob's place and Gretchen going home.
I love Helen's black and white wardrobe and how it is carried over to her office.
And also her apartment.
But my favourite is Frank and Sylvia's house, which is in lovely shades of cream and lilac.
And check out Sylvia's silk house coat.
And Frank's showroom is so cool. I wish I could go somewhere so glamourous to buy my stockings nowadays.
Anyway, back to the plot. Bob's brilliant idea to get material for his article is to pretend to be Frank and take his neighbours' marital problems to Helen as a patient. They hit it off right away and are already holding hands by the second appointment and she gives him her home phone number.
Soon Bob is already faking a suicide attempt
And doing his Jack Lemmon impression for Helen.
But Helen doesn't like being in love with a married man, so she goes to Sylvia to talk about her marital problems.
Rudy assures her that she is just going through the phase of being in love with a patient.
Meanwhile Bob tells Helen that he isn't legally married to Sylvia and that they don't love each other. Helen says that she wants to meet with Sylvia at her office to hear that from her directly.
And so Mrs. Broderick shows up to say that Helen can have him.
And then the other Mrs. Broderick shows up.
And then the other other Mrs. Broderick shows up and finds out that there are two other Mrs. Brodericks.
Sylvia does the most natural thing. Have Frank arrested for bigamy and break everything in her house.
But then Helen shows up and realizes that Frank is actually Bob Weston and decides to go away with Rudy to Fiji for the weekend.
Meanwhile, Bob quits his job at STOP because he is in love with Helen and has developed morals as a result. Besides, he got a better job at DIRT magazine.
Meanwhile, Sylvia has to bail Frank out of jail and get him to forgive her for having him arrested before he gets on his flight to Hawaii.
And then there is a hilarious car chase and a game of musical cars (like musical chairs, only with moving vehicles) on the highway leading to the airport.
And this is the only time in which we see Helen wearing something in colour, showing her willingness to accept the wifely role that she now wants.

1 comment:

Ivy Black said...

Love this film....how beautiful was she?