Cross dressing isn’t funny.
Don’t worry. I am not being a moralist or judging anyone. I am just saying that a man wearing a dress is not good comedy.
Clearly, some people disagree with me. Check this out: the American Film Institute lists “Some Like it Hot” as their #1 comedy of all time. Guess what’s #2? Wait for it … “Tootsie.”
Yeah … I think that the good folks at AFI should quit rating movies for a bit and go out to a nice drag show together.
The plot of “Some Like it Hot” is astoundingly dumb and contrivance-filled. It takes place during Prohibition. Two musicians – Joe and Jerry (Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon) – witness a Chicago mob murder.
Their response is to put on dresses and make-up and join an all-female music group who have a hotel gig in Florida.
The film is basically two hours of pretending that it is possible that anyone could think that these guys are actually female. It requires a supporting cast of people acting incredibly stupid.
The mobster subplot is completely unnecessary. Writer/director Billy Wilder could just have had Joe and Jerry cross dress because they needed the job.
The gangsters are interchangeable anti-Italian stereotypes. When the Chicago mafioso are killed, I was relieved that we didn’t have to sit through any more bad Al Capone imitations.
But sadly no. Joe and Jerry witness the slaying and then a whole new group of mobsters are chasing them around the hotel like The Three Stooges. So dumb.
Speaking of dumb: poor Marilyn Monroe! She was a great actress with enormous talent. But here she’s stuck playing the most gullible ditz on the planet.
Monroe’s Sugar Kane believes every lie Joe tells her and it’s unpleasant to watch.
First she believes that Joe is a woman. Ridiculous. Then Joe puts on a suit and starts speaking in a bad Cary Grant accent … suddenly she believes that he’s the heir to the Shell Oil fortune. Sigh.
The scene where the Shell scion states that he is sexually traumatized and incapable of being aroused is the height of far-fetched contrivance. Sugar Kane believes the whole story and throws herself at the supposedly impotent tycoon.
Not only is this impossible to believe, it is pretty offensive. Tony Curtis’s Joe is a devious, manipulative cad at best. And a sexual abuser at worst. Either way, his behavior is not okay and I was unpleasantly surprised that Joe never gets his comeuppance.
Hey, look. I know I am in the minority. “Some Like it Hot” is a beloved classic. But I don’t get it at all. When you find cross-dressing completely unamusing like I do, the movie is pretty darn worthless.
This just in! The American Film Institute returned from the drag show and has named “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” and “The Naked Gun” as the two funniest movies of all time, (in my dreams).