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Kiss Me, Stupid

1 rating: 5.0
Classics and Comedy movie directed by Billy Wilder

In 1964 director Billy Wilder was at the top of his game. Following a string of hits that had begun in 1959 withSome Like It Hot, he now intended to direct a bawdy boudoir farce in the grand tradition of the French theater. The contorted plot involves … see full wiki

Director: Billy Wilder
Genre: Classics, Comedy
1 review about Kiss Me, Stupid

"If it weren't for Venetian blinds, it'd be curtains for us..."

  • Jun 13, 2008
Rating:
+5
Billy Wilder's most notorious flop, KISS ME STUPID (1964) was one of the first mainstream Hollywood movies to deal with the risque subject of partner-swapping. Dean Martin is the top-billed star (his character is very much a supporting one); but the film belongs to the sublime comic talents of Ray Walston and a surprisingly mellow, downbeat Kim Novak.

In the small town of Climax, Nevada, struggling songwriter Orville Spooner (Ray Walston) and his friend Barney (Cliff Osmond) attempt to trap visiting singer Dino (Dean Martin) into covering one of their pop songs. To sweeten the deal, Orville sidelines his wife Zelda (Felicia Farr) and substitutes local good-time gal Polly "The Pistol" (Kim Novak). Complications arise when Orville and Polly start taking their married couple act a little too seriously; and a drunken Zelda accidentally spends the night with Dino!

Wilder injects the story with equal parts hilarity and heartache. Kim Novak in particular will haunt you with her downbeat performance as the local floozy aching to enjoy the kind of stable, loving life which Orville's wife takes for granted. Novak's chemistry with Ray Walston is delightful, and their performances really cement this as one of the best romantic comedies of the 60's. As one would also expect from Wilder, the ending is very bittersweet but appropriate for the characters. I suspect this was another reason why the movie flopped with audiences during it's original release.

The DVD is sadly devoid of extra features. KISS ME STUPID is a brightly-written, intelligent romantic comedy (remember them?), and is highly-recommended from this corner.

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