I Saw A Film

Warren Beatty is fun as a lady-killer hair dresser just trying to get enough dough to launch his own business, as he knows he’ll always be spinning his tires working for someone else. Meanwhile a number of his clients are also quite sweet on him and he does his best to keep three ladies satisfied, but, despite their various commitments and relations he fails to pull this off.

The setting is election eve 1968, but no one seems worried about voting. And despite it being a very dire time for America the focus is on the shifting affairs of this struggling hair-artist who never says no to any of his affairs. Of course, this bites him in the ass, as such freedom is always clipped by someone nearby. It’s a lot of fun to watch the ladies hiss at one another as they’re all brought together for a major party, but our protagonist gets caught playing with the wife of a well off lobbiest, and this causes some rich emotional break-down.

Goldie Hawn has seldom been cuter, and an early role for Carrie Fisher has her as the daughter that also pursues the hairdresser Lothario.

I call this sort of film, of which there aren’t that many, a kind of Man’s Romance tale. The hair-dresser is struggling, he has goals, and he’s distracted by the needs of too many ladies who do not help him. His connections are all taking something, but in return he’s still renting his hair-cutting chair from someone getting rich off his talents. Have we not all been there?

There is a rich and funny lewd sequence at a dinner table that’s probably never quite been topped in anything I’ve ever seen! I won’t give more of it away.

A last note. We join George in his “man’s romance” just as it’s about to implode. And it smartly parallels The Sixties “free love” and Leary movements burning off in the hot sun of the election of Authoritarian Nixon. I’m sure this was no accident. And while I suppose much of this film was meant as a blushing guffaw in seeing our Lothario brought low, from the perspective of a single man regularly poisoned by a community of services demanded and loves lost, there’s nothing particularly hilarious about conformity and strict, sometimes monastic attitudes enforced on our freedom and our choices. There’s more to think about here than the business of disappointed ladies!

4 bucks on prime! Well worth a view, there’s no killing, no guns, no bombs, no real car chases – just a good story.

3 thoughts on “Shampoo (1975)

    1. Right, assuming an arguable definition of a “Man’s Romance” is polyamory. Though, in our case here, he really isn’t particularly mean-spirited about any of it. He only has one negative thing to say about women, and that’s when he’s under duress. What he says is, “have you ever listened to them talk?” Which he has at length in the social position (re: presumed homosexual) he fulfills. What he complains about is the endless sniping at one another. I forgot to mention it, as we sort of join George’s action just at the moment it’s collapsing, along with his dreams and the inauguration of authoritarian Nixon! Damn, now you’ve got me thinking I forgot to talk about some things!

      Liked by 1 person

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