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Owl and the Pussycat

1 rating: 1.0
A movie directed by Herbert Ross

Meek, owlish writer Felix (George Segal) and strident, catty prostitute Doris (Barbra Streisand) live in the same apartment building. His incessant typing bothers her; her gentlemen callers bother him. When Felix reports Doris's rowdy activity to … see full wiki

Cast: Kim Chan
Director: Herbert Ross
Release Date: 1970
MPAA Rating: PG
1 review about Owl and the Pussycat

The Owl & The Pussycat - embroidered butts and skeletons

  • Sep 26, 2001
Rating:
+1
Pros: Segal's delivery is well worth the watch

Cons: story way too unbelievable

The Bottom Line: Good for a laugh and some delicious gratuitous panty shots



Ok, Ok - I know I said I wasn't a slapstick comedy person, but this movie had tears running down my face. When it was released I had absolutely no use for it at all, but since I have been bulking up my video library, this came as part of the package.

The story centers around part-time actress/part-time call girl Doris (Barbra Streisand) that lives in a schleppy little tenement in NY across the way from burgeoning but failed to get published writer Felix (George Segal). She constantly complaints to the landlord about his clacking away on the typewriter, he constantly ogles her through the window with his binoculars - a fair enough exchange, wouldn't ya think?

One night while he plays peeping Tom, he sees money changing hands and since he is ticked at her anyway for turning him into the super, he calls and reports her as a prostitute, which gets her booted from the apartment. She shows up at his door, suitcase and TV in hand. This is the beginning of the weird and quirky life these two will lead.

This review isn't about the story at all but about George Segal. I have never been a particular fan of his, he doesn't offend me, he just never impressed me. However, in this movie, I was all but laying on the floor laughing at him. His delivery was impeccable!

I would have never put these two together as a love interest, but then again, I would have never put Walter Matthau with Streisand either. It was perfect - Segal was just cute enough and nerdy enough to be loveable.

Sure there were a lot of slapstick comedy scenes in this movie, with a smattering of drama and a hint of love but Segal ruled this movie. Streisand wasn't anything more than a cute fanny in brightly colored panties ( name stitched across the fanny part BTW), which you got a delicious look at often. Segal's expression remained deadpan as he delivered his lines, making them even funnier.

After Doris discovers his binoculars, and throws a major hissy fit, they decide to settle in for the night. She escapes to the bathroom to change into her nightwear, he gets locked out of the apartment in only his robe. Finally, after she decides to let him into the apartment, they go their respective ways in the tiny rooms (couch & bed) when she decides to go to his room yet again.

As he stands there clutching his robe (which he had just removed) over his nether regions, she eventually aggravates him enough so that he drops the robe and stands there with hands on hips, proudly displaying his wares. She dissolves into a fit of laughter, resulting in a prolonged set of painful hic-cups. Her only cure can be for him to scare her. He dons an old Halloween costume, some skeleton thing complete with head gear, she gets scared, a battle ensues, and the super ends up breaking down the door, catching the two of them entwined on the floor. They both get evicted at this point.

Off they go, he in his costume, clutching his meager bags and she in - well, let me describe this get up. First, it is pajamas of some sort. They are a diaphanous black sequined material with hot pink cuffs, bell bottom pants trimmed in hot pink (the trimming is that boa feather stuff), her name embroidered on her fanny in hot pink thread, a sequined neck collar (like a dog collar), two large hot pink satin hands strategically placed over the bosom area, and a tail with a pink boa tip, pink spike heels and a faux fur coat that just reached her embroidered name. You can imagine the picture they made as they knocked on the door of a friend of Felix's at 3 am. Or can you?

Anyway, things go steadily down hill, or up hill, depending on the mood, from there. In all, it was Segal's impeccable delivery that made this show. Streisand was OK, she was the perfect straight man for Segal. The directing was smooth enough, the story of course was way beyond belief, but it was meant as a piece of fluff anyway. I think Streisand was under contract to do a certain number of movies at the time and this along with What's Up Doc?, Up The Sandbox, & For Pete's Sake where just a few that made that commitment for her.

I have no idea how the movie did at the box office, but I can't imagine it broke any records. It certainly isn't one of my favorites, I prefer the productions where Streisand sings (Funny Girl/Lady, A Star Is Born, Hello Dolly) over these type of movies.

Directed by Herbert Ross, written by Buck Henry & Bill Manhoff

Thanks,
Susi =*=

Recommended:
Yes

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