Thursday, June 11, 2009


By Craig Curtis

In keeping with my need to escape from reality, I've taken the weekend to view a few flix, some good, some not so good, some featuring hunky men with older women, some featuring signature songs, some love stories, some not. Here's the lowdown:

PARRISH stars an above the title TROY DONOHUE and above Claudette Colbert in a 1961 mish-mash of a soaper. Troy is Parrish, the handsome, popped-collared son of Colbert (who looks amazingly the same as she did 30 years before) both of whom move off to some tobacco plantations north of the Mason Dixon Line. Parrish, being the honest, yet wooden fellow he is, is SWOONED over by not one, not two, but THREE lovely gals from three different backgrounds. Connie Stevens is the good girl in trouble, Diane McBain is the rich tippling trollop with a penchant for cash and Sharon Hugueny is the swarthy daughter of evil-nasty, Karl Malden. When Malden falls for Colbert and becomes Donohue's step-pappy, Troy is drawn into the venal machinations of the RAIKE family, even though his loyalty to widower Dean Jagger is strong. Clocking in at 2hr 18mins, you have no idea what the hell is going on or who's prettier? The fetching girls, or the fetching leading man. Ironically, Parrish does his toiling in the fields in nifty high-water khakis. The Technicolor glorious, the costumes swell, the script incoherent.

Rock Hudson, Gina Lollobrigida, Sandra Dee and Bobby Darrin star in COME SEPTEMBER, a rolicking sophistacted sex-ties romp set in Italy. Hudson (who only visits his Italian Villa once a September) shows up early, only to find that his Major Domo turns the manse into a hotel during summer's high season! And the hijinx are on! Lollobrigida looks ravishing, Hudson is as Hudson does (read: lots of partially clad scenes), but the real thrill is seeing a Hollywood film actually filmed in Italy. For the most part. The guys are nifty in their Gucci Loafers and the gals sport the sweetest knee-hovering bouffant skirts. Cute, sweet and about as satisfying as eating cotton candy.

MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION. Rock Hudson pairs with doddering old hag Jane Wyman in this ridiculous tear jerker that has no basis in reality. Hudson is a careless playboy who accidentally kills Wyman's short-term hubby, then turns around a blinds her in a car accident!!! But Hudson turns his life around after he meets up with some artist who fills his head with some new-agey gobbledy-gook, Hudson befriends Wyman under an assumed name, and after all the specialist Europe can provide cannot cure the occlusion that mars Wyman's sight, Hudson becomes a surgeon and cures her. Usually meant to be a Douglas Sirk directed tear-jerker, the Valium and Du bonnet only made me giggle the evening away.

Dustin Hoffman is JOHN, and Mia Farrow is MARY in JOHN AND MARY, a surprisingly cerebral flick about a one night stand gone awry. Taking place in late 60s NYC, the look is great, the script, phenomenal. I was utterly shocked by this touching love story.

SHAMPOO: Warren Beatty stars as the womanizing hairdresser who does more than great hair. He wears it as well. Gosh, if I had a Flo-bee, I'd have a shag like his, too! Julie Christie, Goldie Hawn and Lee (where are her lips in relation to the lipstick) Grant costar as the long suffering gals Beatty boinks while yearning for his own salon. Again, Beatty flashes a lot of flesh, but that's OK, because nobody does THAT better. Pretty as a picture, he is. Looks just as great in a velvet tux as he does in low slung jeans and a tank top. Strangely, I'd never seen this flick.

But gosh.

It's the LA I love.

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