Monday, October 8, 2012

There’s a Girl in My Soup (1970)

          Adapted from a hit play about a middle-aged lothario in swinging London who exploits the Sexual Revolution by sleeping with every young woman who falls for his pickup lines, There’s a Girl in My Soup is a mildly entertaining and mildly insightful sex farce that benefits from exceedingly nimble leading actors. In fact, the movie’s appeal stems almost entirely from the presence of British comedy icon Peter Sellers, who plays the lothario, and American funny girl Goldie Hawn, who plays, well, the girl in his soup—because the underlying material isn’t funny or purposeful enough to impress on its own merits. When the story begins, TV personality Robert Danvers (Sellers) is enjoying his fame immensely, seducing nearly every attractive woman he encounters. One evening, however, he meets an ebullient American named Marion (Hawn), who agrees to go home with Robert because she’s trying to get away from her two-timing musician boyfriend, Jimmy (Nicky Henson). Robert thinks he’s got it made, since Marion is a sexy little blonde, but it turns out she’s got attitude to burn. She derisively laughs at his pickup lines, mocks his age, and shames him into feeling guilty about wanting to use her.
          Relenting from his seduction, Robert is forced to engage with Marion as a person, and he soon falls under her offbeat spell. Meantime, she sees glimmers of decency behind his sex-crazed façade. Yet just when it seems like the story is about to head down the interesting path of a soul mate shaking Robert free of his pretensions, the characters become lovers and Robert begins entertaining notions of marriage. Compounded by the presence of a disappointingly flat ending, this left turn into domestic melodrama makes There’s a Girl in My Soup feel quite ordinary. Worse, the jokes aren’t particularly memorable. Sellers’ send-up of smoothies is amusing—his catchphrase, “My God, but you’re lovely,” is cringe-worthy—and Hawn’s eroticized dizziness has its charms. Somehow, though, their scenes never catch fire. There’s a Girl in My Soup gets points for presenting Marion as a fully formed person instead of a brainless sex object, but beyond that, the film’s virtues are few and modest.

There’s a Girl in My Soup: FUNKY

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