Thursday, August 20, 2009

Up with chocolate!

So... long time no see! I wish I could blame my lack of updating on a lack of time, but that would only be partially true. To make up for my terribly bad manners, I will write a more in-depth blog entry for you. I do hope it isn't too long... Okay, so that title was a little misleading, wasn't it? Those of you who recognize it, however, will likely guess what movie I'll be discussing next. The truth is, I'll actually be discussing 3 movies! Pillow Talk (1959), Sex and the Single Girl (1964), and Down with Love (2003).

Down with Love is one of my favorite movies of all time. It's quirky, it's romantic, it's hilarious, and it pays homage to the sex comedies of the 1960s. It is a common misconception that Down with Love is based on Pillow Talk. I am a firm believer that it is not; rather, it was highly influenced by it. The two movies do have striking similarities, but their differences are so important that one cannot say they are even "practically" the same movie (which I have heard
said).

This summer, I was able to watch a good handful of new movies (thanks to Netflix!), and one of them was Sex and the Single Girl. The movie reaffirmed my opinions in the above matter because Sex and the Single Girl, like Pajama Game, has major similarities with Down with Love - but different similarities.

All three of these movies are 1960s sex comedies in style (despite the fact that one was made in the late 50s and one was made in 2003). Thus, all of them share similar story-lines and similar attitudes towards romance. They're all about the "battle of the sexes" and so they all deal with an intelligent, independent, single woman and a suave, smooth, womanizer. The plots, as I said earlier, are all pretty similar: basically, the woman, in her independent and free-spirited way, angers the womanizer to the point where he feels he must get even with her. And, as each womanizer feels that each woman needs to understand a thing or two about sex and love, they all decide to pretend to be the sort of man that could seduce the women. And there you have it, a basic wrap-up of each plot.


Now for the differences and similarities (these may contain spoilers):

Pajama Game, like Down with Love, features the female protagonist (Jan Morrow and Barbara Novak, respectively) despise the man (Brad Allen and Catcher Block) for his womanizing ways. In Pajama Game, Jan Morrow is infuriated that Brad Allen allows his social life monopolize her phone line and in Down with Love, Barbara Novak argues that Catcher Block is "the worst kind of man... men who change women as often as they change their shirts." To get back, both men pretend to be pure, innocent Southerners, the kind who like home-cooked meals, pipes, and quiet home life. Another similarity to point out is the use of split screens in both. Pajama Game includes a sexy scene where both characters are taking a bath in their seperate homes but the split screen creates the comical illusion that they are sharing a bath instead. This idea is taken to an exaggerated measure in Down with Love, where the couple (unintentionally) does several sexual favors for each other in an innocent phone conversation. Now, add in a luckless, hapless, neruotic, and rich best friend to the main male character (not to mention Tony Randall), and that about sums up the similarities between these two films. If I have left anything out, please feel free to let me know and I will be happy to edit this post accordingly.

Sex and the Single Girl features different similarities with Down with Love. Far from criticizing the man's social schedule, this female protagonist, Helen Gurley Brown, encourages it and encourages the singe girl to partake in the fun as well. Her encouragement is detailed in her controversial book, as is Barbara Novak's who, like Helen Gurley Brown, encourages women to stimulate their sex life, modeling it after the womanizer's; at the same time, however, she judges men for using women in such ways. In both of these two films, Catcher Block and Bob Weston are journalists, working on exposés to unveil the true romantic inclinations of the women.

Well, now that you've had a (somewhat) brief description of the differences and the similarities between these three zany sex comedies, you know what to expect (oh! did I mention the car chase in Sex and the Single Girl?).

So, rent these movies, grab a cocktail and, of course, some chocolate, and enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. "Who are you calling Nancy?!"

    "He didn't even have the professional decency to try and seduce me first!"

    ... or something along those lines.

    ReplyDelete