Back at GCSE level, we watched Some Like It hot as part of our English Language course. From this, we were tasked with writing a review in less than 500 words. Now, as we were watching this film in a noisy classroom on a not-great-quality tv, I feel like it’s time I try rewatching Some Like It Hot. However, before I do this, I wanted to reread my review and so I thought why not share it with all of you? Please remember, it was written to be marked as coursework and so the language isn’t anything like how I would be reviewing a film normally.
The classic performances by Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe are what make Some Like It Hot (1959) the farcical, witty comedy it is. One of the nation’s top ten favourite comedies since it was first released; Billy Wilder’s partial remake of “Fanfare of Love” effortlessly combines cross-dressing and gangsters to create a near-perfect exhibition of the comic arts during the Golden Age of Hollywood. This hysterical comedy from Wilder finds Curtis and Lemmon masquerading as women in order to elude irate Chicago mobsters while befriending a beautiful singer (Monroe).
The naturally flirtatious and vivacious Marilyn Monroe portrays the naïve and ditzy Sugar Kane with such ease as many confuse the actress with the character. Her interaction with the two male leads shows Monroe’s melancholic runaway as a woman looking for love in a world which seems to forget about her. Sugar’s “quick to form” friendship with Daphne (which later forms into a sisterly relationship) is portrayed in the dialogue; “That’s the story of my life. I always get the fuzzy end of the lollipop”, Sugar relying on Daphne for support when talking of her love of Junior.
This flawlessly scripted screwball comedy is filled with one-liners and is overflowing with innuendoes and risqué humour. It is carried well by the straight character that is Sugar and gives Curtis and Lemmon their cues with style and sophistication.
Monroe’s first scene is accentuated with the ribald jazz music as she stalks along the train platform Jerry (Lemmon) describes Sugar’s unique qualities, shy, flirtatious and alluring, by stating, “Who are we kidding? Look at that – look how she moves – it’s like jello on springs – they must have some sort of a built-in motor. I tell you it’s a whole different sex.”
The film is full of hilarious set pieces and movie in-jokes, Some Like It Hot has not tarnished with time and, in fact, seems to get better with each passing year, as its cross-dressing humour keeps it fresh for new generations of viewers. The credible friendship between Sugar, Daphne and Josephine, hilarious dialogue and expert attention to detail enables the audience to be transported as if they were guests into the hotel in Florida.
Wilder and his producer I.A.L Diamond have constructed a flawless piece of movie-making as well as mirth-inducing cinema. The puns, double entendres and wildly manic pace, set pieces and gags allow the entire cast to “go for broke” in the unadulterated slapstick!
What’s the funniest scene? Well, in my opinion, it is a very personal question and will differ from one person to the next or even generation to generation! I personally think “Can-we-get-anymore-people-into-this-upper-train-berth?” is a comic gem!