Sunday, February 27, 2011

Let's Make Love (1960)

When billionaire Jean-Marc Clement learns an off-Broadway production plans to parody him in its new production, he ventures from his Manhattan skyscraper to a downtown theater to investigate the struggling company. Once there, he falls for Amanda Dell, as she sashays in a sheer body suit, and sings the coy "My Heart Belongs to Daddy." He then introduces himself to her as Alexander Dumas -- struggling actor. 

Thus, the familiar plots of romance and mistaken identity highlight the 1960 comedy Let's Make Love. Yves Montand, as Clement, and Marilyn Monroe, as Dell, seem an odd pairing, and though I enjoyed the movie overall, I think both likely experienced better chemistry in their careers. Still, Clement's sophistication and Dell's playfulness provide enough contrast, I never questioned my interest as their relationship developed. Sure, it's all expected, and it's not pure magic. However, that does not mean I have to dislike it.

As Clement's scheme proceeds, celebrity cameos abound. Bing Crosby, Milton Berle, and Gene Kelly all try their hands at making Clement a star, to no avail. Also, Frankie Vaughan co-stars as a struggling performer and romantic rival. However, Clement proves only himself, and shows Dell in the simplest way ... before seducing her in the elevator.

The musical numbers and costumes provide the most enjoyment for me. Dell performs in oversized sweaters and tights for "rehearsal," traipses around Manhattan in a trench coat and beret, and performs in a negligee elaborate enough to pass as an evening gown. Monroe, then, appears her most stylish to me. She combines artistic and sexy, like any musical comedy performer should.

While not the most original film, Let's Make Love does all the familiars right. I cannot dislike music, costumes, and happy endings, no matter how many times I see them.

Oh, and when I first got into Marlon Brando, I found this You Tube video of him and Marilyn. The song, "Let's Make Love" is from this film!

1 comment:

Shybiker said...

Hmm... never saw this. I generally avoid Marilyn's movies but you make it sound interesting. Going on the NetFlix list!

Happy Oscar Day, buddy. I hope you enjoy the award-ceremony.