By: Oberst Von Berauscht (Two Beers) –
Musicians Joe (Tony Curtis) and Jerry (Jack Lemmon) are in trouble. Forget the fact that they’re flat broke, compulsive gamblers, and out of a job now that the speakeasy they work at is raided. They have just witnessed a massive gangland killing, and are now on the run for their lives. Desperate to hide, and in need of traveling money, they con their way into an all-female traveling band by dressing in drag. Their plans go awry as they both find themselves falling for Sugar Kane (Marilyn Monroe), who they love for her personality (of course).
Some like it Hot may or may not be fully deserving of the praise which named it the Number 1 comedy of the 20th century by the American Film Institute, but the film’s quality is indisputable. With a sharply comic screenplay by I. A. L. Diamond, along with director Billy Wilder; the film emphasizes sly gender-satire along with clever quips and just the right amount of innuendo.
The sharp dialogue is brilliantly delivered by co-stars Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis, who are perfectly cast. Certainly they are never even the least bit believable as “women”, but that is half the fun. Curtis’ Joe is the schemer of the two, always coming up with new schemes, and Jack Lemmon’s Jerry is more even-keeled. Together, they make a team reminiscent of classic comedy teams, but create their own wholly original routine, without directly ripping off Abbott and Costello, or Martin and Lewis for instance…
Marilyn Monroe’s acting career veered widely between solid dramatic performances and soapy window-dressing roles. But Some Like it Hot gave her a chance to show that her true talent lay with comedy. Marilyn’s character Sugar Kane is a slightly dim, but well-meaning girl who can’t seem to help falling for the wrong men. It is a shame she wouldn’t live long enough to get more roles like this.
On occasion, the humor can feel a tad on the aged side, particularly the subplot in which Tony Curtis ditches the garters and attempts to woo Marilyn in the guise of a wealthy socialite. While the Cary Grant accent is spot-on, the situational humor leaves much to be desired. The scene where Marilyn is trying to seduce him just feels a bit awkward.
This is a minor complaint, and for the most part this sequence doesn’t hurt the film’s otherwise brilliant comedic pacing.
An stellar comedy which for its time was also quite edgy, and which (mostly) holds up very well today.
Take a Drink: for blatant sexist acts experienced by our
Take a Drink: for mention of the “fuzzy end of the lollipop” (double it for the (unintended/intended?) double entendre)
Take a Drink: each time Tony Curtis uses the “Cary Grant” accent
Do a Shot: as Jack Lemmon’s acceptance of his inner woman passes the point of no return