Some Like It Hot (Oct. 22/01)
The American Film Institute recently declared Some Like It Hot to be the funniest movie ever made. And while that may have been true upon its release (which was some odd 40 years ago), it's certainly not true now. It's a different kind of funny - based mostly upon double entendres and dry one-liners - more likely to elicit smiles and chuckles rather than full-fledged belly laughs.
Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon star as two struggling musicians who find themselves a target of the mob after inadvertently witnessing the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. They decide to go on the lam, but quickly realize that they haven't got enough money to get very far. So, they decide to take a job that will take them to Florida - the only catch is the job is open to women only. Enter their new personas: Josephine and Daphne. As women, Lemmon must fend off the unwanted affection of an older man while Curtis is forced to assume yet another identity (a dashing young playboy who sounds suspiciously like Cary Grant) when he meets a beautiful singer in the troupe (played by, of course, Marilyn Monroe).
Some Like It Hot is breezy, fun entertainment that'll pass the time, but won't stay with you like, say, The Apartment. But then, I don't think it was intended to be anything more than a good time at the movies. The performances are all top-notch, particularly Lemmon in his star-making role - it was after Some Like It Hot that he became a member of that elusive A-list.
The most notable thing about Some Like It Hot, though, is the astonishingly intelligent screenplay (which is filled to the brim with witty rejoinders and clever snippets of dialogue). In this day and age, where what passes for screen comedy includes the likes of Freddy Got Fingered and American Pie, it's refreshing to watch a flick whose laughs don't revolve around bodily functions. Though as I mentioned at the outset of this review, the laughs aren't exactly fast and furious - in fact, they're almost non-existent - but the relaxed atmosphere and laid-back pace will keep a smile on your face as you watch.