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One Movie Punch

Apr 29, 2018

Today’s movie is “Some Like It Hot” (1959), the classic romantic comedy directed by Billy Wilder, and written in collaboration with I.A.L. Diamond, based on the French comedy film “Fanfar d’amour” (1935). The film follows two jazz musicians, Joe (Tony Curtis) and Jerry (Jack Lemmon), who witness a violent mob hit in Chicago, then posing as women to hide within an all-female traveling band, which includes Sugar Kane Kowalczyk (Marilyn Monroe).

Spoilers ahead.

The best word to describe this film is playful, followed by honest. “Some Like It Hot” is rated G, and aside from some obviously dated gender roles, the humor fits the rating without losing any of its cleverness. Wilder and Diamond’s script somehow weaves a noir film, a romantic comedy, and a musical together, with each step creating its own unique version of the original work.

Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon have great chemistry both as Joe and Jerry, and as Josephine and Daphne, with great physical comedy, especially in their mannerisms and facial expressions. Marilyn Monroe is, well, another version of Marilyn, this time an alcoholic woman that has a thing for sax players and just wants to marry a rich man. And I loved Joe E. Brown as Osgood Fielding III, particularly while doing the tango with Daphne. 

I found some parts of this film really interesting, especially when Joe is trying to explain to Jerry why he can’t accept Osgood’s marriage proposal. We’ve finally made marriage equal for everyone in this country, and Jerry/Daphne seemed awfully happy with him, and then again later as they’re fleeing the mobsters to Osgood’s yacht. I almost think there’s an opportunity for a modern day reboot, with just the right tweaks to the story to make it its own, of course.

“Some Like It Hot” (1959) is a classic comedy, and despite a few gender roles that are chauvinistic at best, it really holds up, perhaps even being a subversive piece on same-sex marriage and gender expression in retrospect. It has a great cast and fine direction. But most of all, it’s playful in a way that few films are. Fans of classic films and fun comedies will definitely enjoy this film.

Rotten Tomatoes: 96% (CERTIFIED)

Metacritic: 97

One Movie Punch: 8.0/10

“Some Like It Hot” (1959) is rated G and is currently streaming on Amazon Prime.