Today marks the 50th Anniversary of Marilyn Monroe’s death and so it seemed appropriate to review what is generally considered the best film from her catalogue. Some Like It Hot is a screwball comedy where two musicians (Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon) have to avoid an Al Capone inspired gangster mob. They achieve this through cross-dressing and joining an all female band whose singer is the beautiful Sugar Kane (Marilyn Monroe). They then inevitably have to compete for her affections whilst still trying to keep up their disguises and blend in amongst the other women. I haven’t got too many bad things to say about this film, it has its negatives but they are pretty small and don’t really harm the film. It is absolutely worth watching, not just as a classic piece of cinema but also because it is a really enjoyable and endearing film.
Perhaps the biggest problem I have with this film is the opening twenty minutes; it’s fun to see Curtis and Lemmon together but the dynamic hasn’t slotted into place yet. It’s not until Monroe’s character enters into the picture that the film really takes off with each of the lead actors superbly playing against each other. Once it starts it’s great, it’s just that it takes a little too long to get there. That section can be roughly marked out as the middle and it is definitely the strongest, the final section does lose a little of the edge that it had, but only in places. It’s still a lot of fun but is perhaps less sharp and tightly constructed.
The film’s central conceit that Lemmon and Curtis can pass as women is so ridiculous and fun that it carries the film from the moment they dress up to the closing credits. Monroe as I have indicated is excellent in her role; definitely the best version of her dumb blonde persona, she manages to charm us and gets us to care for her character despite the negative stereotype. Something that is really highlighted here is her flair for the comedic; not only keeping up with Lemmon and Curtis but being an integral part to the trio and thus to the success of the film.