I have weird feelings about this movie. I first watched it at GSP, almost ten years ago, when HOLY SHIT TEN YEARS I’M OLD
Let’s try that again. I watched it and I thought it was hilarious, which was remarkable in itself, given my stupid prejudice against anything made before 1981. In 1998 that was the kind of thing you thought about it. On vacation in summer 2000, we watched it get named the funniest American film ever and I pretty much agreed (given AFI’s own stupid but inevitable prejudices). Since then I’ve only trotted it out to prove that yes, I do like something made before I was born.
I watched it again last night with Holly and Kevan, neither of whom had seen it before. Now I’m all jumbled.
There are a lot of one-liners, but does that make a funny movie? I think improv training, the Daily Show and Arrested Development have done something to my humor palate such that those didn’t satisfy me. So I didn’t laugh much at it. But I did find it stunningly subversive.
Now, was it subversive when it was released? Certainly–it helped end the Production Code–but not in the way I’m thinking. A lot of the jokes now can be read as sly commentary on gay marriage, “cures” for homosexuality, and, er, Marilyn Monroe’s death. I don’t know if I’m reaching too far to do that. An English major would say no, but I got my degree in theatre.
I know if you did a shot-for-shot remake today with Patrick Warburton, Jeremy Piven, Scarlett Johansson and William H. Macy, it would be subversive as hell. If Scarlett could pull it off.
I wonder if Jeremy Piven’s hamming will look as silly as Jack Lemmon’s hamming, in 2055.