Sunday, December 5, 2010

What a way to go! (1964)

Geez this took me a long time to remember this movie. I kept confusing this movie for a completely different title. Months I've been thinking about writing this movie.

I adore dark humor movies. I guess a psycologist or someone of that sort would say that poking light at an otherwise unfunny subject was a way with coping with that subject matter. I would have to agree.

Death is not a funny subject. It's the final act of life and it comes with devasting emotional baggage afterward. There are only two ways to deal with the impending finale: to trudge toward it with melancholy doom or with an amused smile.

This movie absolutely surprised and delighted me. From the cheerful cover on the DVD, I assumed I was in for another lighthearted comedy farce from the sixties. Instead I was treated to so much more.

Your introduced to a pretty lady named Louisa May Foster. She is attempting to donate 1 million dollars to the IRS. Of course, the IRS become really suspicious and have a psychiatrist sort her out. It turns out that she came to the money after four husbands who died prematurely.

And the hilarity ensues of course.

I mean really that does not sound like it should be funny in the least. But it is. The movie deals with how differently each man turns out. The most memorable husband is the one who is a painter who lives by the ideals that he is an artist. Until he gets rich and ends up painting with a machine.

All Louisa May Foster wants is to be happy and loved. Not rich and unhappy. For a movie made in the sixties I thought this idea alone stood out pretty well. I do love the romance movies from this age but most of them had the sole purpose of the female character in just finding love. Not to be loved in return. Just finding your true love. It shouldn't be a no brainer that love and happiness should go hand in hand.

Since people love to equate that money = happiness, this movie goes to great lengths to prove just how wrong that assumption is. None of these men were deeply happy when they came into such money. Instead they all changed for their worse and ultimately died prematurely. So in a morbid sense of way, the lesson of this movie is: you love money= you die.

Despite it's lessons, it is still a really funny movie.
Shirley Maclaine plays Louisa. She is so freaking beautiful in this movie. As in "The Women", this movie came to known for the outfits that Maclaine adorns through the movie. Her outfits mirror the interests of the varying husbands from a weird red latex geisha outfit to pink from head to toe. This shows how much a girl can lose a part of her personal identity when she's smitten with a guy. By changing her changes to suit the man, she loses the ability to express her self through her clothes.

Fight it as much as you want people. Your clothes do define and characterize who you are. People aren't going to spend their precious time listening to you and trying to understand your back story. If they don't like your clothes, they're probably not going to like you. What can I say? I'm surrounded by a city of superficial plastics and that has become my own reality.

Psst....Shirley Maclaine is Endora in the "Bewitched" television series. Ahh, there's that light bulb going off.

I really, really enjoyed this movie. The sets are that typical technicolor variety. The costumes are really fun to watch. The sequences in between are really awesome.

PLUS, there are some major hollywood actors in th movie. Many of them my absolute favorites:

* Dick Van Dyke (LOVE him)
* Gene Kelly (LOVE LOVE HIM)
* Paul Newman (love the salad dressing!)
* Dean Martin (ooo, that voice)

Holly molly. Maclaine smooches them all!

It's a movie that is very much different from the rest. It's subtle, witty, and just absolute fun. If I ever see this movie in DVD format, I'm going definitely going to snatch it!

1 comment:

Dor said...

* Dick Van Dyke (LOVE him)mr van dyke what or hasn't been already said about this loveable man...I can honestly say...he's one hell of an actor...and ditto's X's 10
* Gene Kelly (LOVE LOVE HIM)Mr Gene Kelly oh what a dancer he seemed to float on air his dancing was the most purrfects of anyone beside Mr Astaire in MHO only there ya knows what I means vern...and ditto's X20
* Paul Newman (love the salad dressing!)only some of them ohtays =)
* Dean Martin (ooo, that voice)I've seen every movie...watched every tv show...and love loved his roasts... mr martin...damn I always dreamed you were my long lost you til the very day... thats darlin for sharing with day we gotta have a chit chats