Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
The Castro Theater is having their 'Blonde Bombshell' film festival this week, and on Saturday night, I saw a newly restored Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. There's a certain sweetness to this movie that I just love. It was really fun seeing it at the Castro because the audience was so into it! Cheering, clapping, laughing. It felt like we were all watching it for the first time but you could tell mostly everyone was well-versed in this romp.
It is such a romp. The story is silly, as it should be, because this movie doesn't ride on narrative tension or character development! That's not what's it's meant for. It's about glamor, friendship and fun. There's a campy element to it -- just watch the musical numbers. They are totally over the top.
The key ingredient that turns this flick into a gem is the humor which Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell carry out til the end with perfection. Marilyn's naive Lorelei gets most of the laughs because, while she plays it ditsy, underneath it all there is sharp, comedic timing that is pure Marilyn, pure Monroe. I still get the chills when Marilyn sings "Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend."
She's just such an icon. You can't help but feel what everyone must have felt when she hit the scene in Hollywood - who is this mysterious charmer? If you've never seen a Marilyn movie, start with this one. In fact, watch the amazing trailer here.