Friday, 3 June 2016

The Seven Year Itch (3 Stars)

This film has become famous because of one scene, in which Marilyn Monroe's dress is blown up when she stands over a subway air vent. People know this image of Marilyn, even if they don't know the name of film where it happens. Ironically, the film itself shows less than the publicity photos. "The Seven Year Itch" was made in 1955, a time when Hollywood films were marred by prudity. A better camera angle would have made the scene more exciting.

The film is an adaptation of a successful Broadway play written by George Axelrod. I assume that the film keeps closely to the original dialogue. Almost all of the scenes take place indoors, apart from the already mentioned iconic scene.

The premise of the film is that in summer men send their wives and children on vacation to cooler places to get away from the New York heat. Did they really do that? It seems like a strange custom. The publishing executive Richard Sherman is one of these men. When his wife leaves he promises not to smoke, drink or eat meat. He soon breaks the first two promises, but at least he sticks to a healthy vegetarian diet. One thing he doesn't promise is to remain faithful, because his wife takes his fidelity for granted. He's a good man, he doesn't intend to play around, but he's severely tempted when a beautiful woman moves into the apartment upstairs.

I have to say, I wouldn't have been tempted at all. It's true, I like beautiful women, but I find the woman's personality annoying. She's a stereotypical dumb blonde. I like women to be intelligent and self-confident. Of course, it's a comedy. We're meant to laugh at the woman's stupidity and naivety, and we're meant to laugh at Richard falling for her. I find her funny, but I don't find her alluring.

That's the reason for my low rating for the film. We need a remake in which a devious temptress uses her womanly wiles to seduce the faithful married man. That would be my sort of film.

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