I Saw A Film!
More Goldie Hawn, being both sardonically stand-offish and utterly frabjous as Peter Seller’s fixe d’amor du jour. Sellers is an upper class restaurant reviewer and television personality, doing quite well for himself, living a reasonably high life, driving a Bentley (or something similar) and enjoying his pick of lovely women and morning bagels (some class strife is squeezed out of that detail). Ah, to be a rich guy.
By the way, act one is more or less a kind of backstory on our TV personality, and while he is developed as a grand cad, truthfully it’s hard to be put off by him. I mean I’ve watched movies where we’re supposed to like characters who have literally murdered a dozen people in the first ten minutes, so casual sex seems hard to get upset about.
Peter (who’s character name I can’t remember) runs into Goldie (I think she’s Marion) as he’s meant to be dragged to another middle-aged, boring get-together. While admiring the younger crowd enjoying some live music and presumably the psychedelic life that goes with it (though we’re not treated to more than a glance). He makes a play for Goldie as she’s fighting with her drummer boyfriend, who like many couples who have grown callous of one another, mistreats her enough for her to leap at the gentleman’s offer. But once she’s settled into the sofa of the abode of our playboy she starts to compete a bit with her own sarcastic slice of life. There’s a bit of witty repartee about what an older man offers a younger woman and the pleasures of sexual relations not to be wasted, and while she’s not entirely put off (which seems a bit impossible as they’ve really only just met to be having all this philosophical dialog) she instead breaks down, spilling a pile of beans about heartbreak and jealousy, and our Lothario is officially shut down for the evening. Could he have spent a bit of time chatting further, possibly comforting her (it crossed my mind that as soon as the going got tough he bailed . . .)? No matter, as the very next day she rooks him into helping her move out from drummer-boy’s apartment, nothing says love like lugging a lady’s baggage for her (I’ve never seen an easier move-out by the way (despite some of the slap-stick injuries)! Total Breeze!).
The drummer boyfriend is already in bed with another lady, and the decor of the apartment is a treat! A Che Guevara poster faces images of Jagger and the boys and is situated not far from Karl Marx. Magazine image collages and bums sleeping in the kitchen bath fill out the perspective. And oh, yes, a telephone has been submerged into the toilet (a response to Goldie having tried to call her estranged beau).
Act three is basically a mildly humorous series of Sellers taking the 19 year old American girl on a tour of his activities due to which which he gradually becomes fond of of our Goldie (like that would be difficult). We’re being lead to believe this relationship is finally the match for the old Don Juan (man there’s a lot of names for a free loving fellow, Casanova, rake, stud etc) he’s been waiting for. Hey when you just haven’t quite met the right girl yet . . .
However, the film has its own cooler ideas, and after the press decides he’s married to the young lass and begins interviewing her as his missus the psychedelic drummer-boy returns to sweep Goldie off her bitty feet. When the cold water is tossed (earlier literally on the boyfriend in bed with the “other woman”) and now on the new romance, our playboy tries to keep his lovely lady but she’s decided to go back to her “true” love (the fellow who drives a van that says Neaderthal on it)! This is played in so many rom-coms exactly the way Goldie plays it here, it seems off-handed, careless and like a tease. This is the moment when the protagonist is supposed to break-down, and profess his devotion, but this is a 1970 British film full of cheek and so what happens instead is the remedy to the rom-com, an Anti-rom-com if you will.
An interesting theme arises, though is not played out. The theme is that the generation of Sellers is sneering at the drummer-boy and his generation for their mistreatment of the ladies. It’s a bit rich coming from a man who we are to presume doesn’t love at all. But I disagree, the idea that we must love only one (despite divorces and multiple marriages) is a common accusation that seems to me easily dismissed with the reality we so easily wash in our faulty memories. The idea of “failed” relationships is one that has no practical measure. It’s time folks accepted that relations that don’t last as long as others aren’t supposed to last and it doesn’t mean they are wrong or bad or wasted, they are all experiences to be savored. That doesn’t get discussed here, but it’s worth a moment’s reflection. What is at error is our willingness to judge. We are born judgmental and love to freely wield judgment away from ourselves.
Stream at your own peril my delicate flowers!
For a few bucks on Prime and quite delightful if a little kitschy and dated (more forced possibly).