Wednesday, November 26, 2014

10 (1979)

Director: Blake Edwards

Writer: Blake Edwards

Composer: Henry Mancini

Starring: Dudley Moore, Julie Andrews, Bo Derek, Robert Webber, Dee Wallace, Sam J. Jones, Brian Dennehy, Max Showalter, Rad Daly, Nerda Volz, James Noble, Virginia Kiser, John Hawker, Deborah Rush, Don Calfa

More info: IMDb

Tagline: A temptingly tasteful comedy for adults who can count.

Plot: Approaching middle age, George (Moore), a very successful Hollywood songwriter, feels as if life is passing him by, especially his sex life. Despite the presence of longtime lady friend Sam (Andrews) in his life, he becomes obsessed from afar with Jenny (Derek), who is engaged to be married. Following her to Mexico without her knowledge, George arranges a meeting with Jenny by saving the life of her fiancé, David (Jones). Once he has made her acquaintance, George suddenly finds himself faced with the realities of embarking on such an affair.

My rating: 7.5/10

Will I watch it again? Yes.

A little back story in how this picture fits into my life.  When this arrived on HBO in the earliest part of the 1980s I was going through that curious time of pre-pubescent youth.  In other words I had a healthy obsessions with naked women.  I used to sneak into the living room late at night (having early on acquainted myself with the terms 'nudity' and 'brief nudity' found in the HBO Guide), close the hall door to the bedrooms, turn the TV on with the sound down low and wait impatiently until the boobs showed up.  Now I didn't participate in any physical way, that would come a few years later but I would sit there enamored at the female form.  Bo Derek and this movie mark my earliest memories of this ritual.  Cut ahead probably fifteen years later (and about fifteen years ago).  I watched the film for the first time since then and I was bored to death.  I didn't like it and the only thing I dug were the nude scenes with Derek.  I popped the DVD in last night and watched all 122 minutes of it and something happened.  I saw it for what it was, a sweet comedy about a man coming to terms with what matters most to him, romantically.

Now, the film has lots of fat that could be trimmed into a leaner and perhaps better film.  But then that would rob us of some great comedy.  Dudley Moore is hilarious and does physical comedy very well.  The bit where he's knocked off his feet with the telescope and falls down the hill goes on too long but it starts to get funnier by the end.  Most of the entire dentist bit and the numbed face aftermath is excessive but there are some really funny moments that would be missed. Julie Andrews singing at the rehearsal is totally unnecessary but fans of her will eat it up (plus she was married to Edwards so let the guy do what he wants).  For being the hottest broad to come along in years, it's surprising that she can act.  She's perfect for what the role called for.  I'm not saying she could hold her own doing Shakespeare in the Park or anything but she does a very nice, soft spoken job and I really dug it.  The fuck?  That's Sam Jones that's her on screen husband?  I knew I'd seen him before but I couldn't place it.  He looks a lot different from his next gig, FLASH GORDON (1980).  The rest of the cast is top notch.  I just love watching Robert Webber (as Hugh, George's gay friend and song writing partner) work.  He's fantastic.  Brian Dennehy was only 32 when it made this and even then he had a commanding presence.  Dee Wallace is great.  Shit, this picture is wonderfully cast and everyone is on top of their game.  Max Showalter (the priest with the great dane) should have been in everything.  Classic shit, that guy.  I could go on but I have to say that I fully intended to not like this film again when I popped it in.  Instead, I saw it through more mature eyes (having seen thousands of films since the last time) and soaked it in as it was intended.  It's a case of me growing up in a sense and I rather liked the fact that I now really dig this picture.  Oh, and the ending couldn't have been any better.  Loved it.

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