Friday, March 4, 2016

Made in Paris

Year 8, Day 64 - 3/4/16 - Movie #2,265

BEFORE: Ann-Margret carries over from "The Pleasure Seekers", and I decided not to work "52 Pick-Up" into the Ann-Margret chain.  The Roy Scheider films are something of a dead end where actor linking is concerned, but if I wait, there's a chance that a link will form from new films added to the list.  Maybe.  Anyway, the link to tomorrow's film is just too good, so obscure, I can't wait to tell you about it.  All in good time.

But if that's not the direction I'm going, then what IS on the schedule for March?  Well, after tomorrow I'm back on the action-movie track, which is going to get me through most of March.  I'll deal with some Morgan Freeman and/or Gene Hackman films, then some Tom Cruise and Samuel Jackson films.  In-between there's a Melissa McCarthy and/or Bill Murray comedy chain to break things up.  Two Brady Bunch films and two with Kevin Bacon (only not together) and all of that gets me to "Batman v. Superman", in fact it looks like a whole week of Batman and/or Superman themed programming.  My only problem is that I'm going to hit Movie #2300 in a place I'm not crazy about, so I'll either have to add 7 or delete 3 films if I want to hit that number on a big, important film.  Maybe I can take some time this weekend to see if I want to do either of those things. 

THE PLOT:  A fashion buyer in Paris is on her first buying spree, where she meets a famous fashion designer and he immediately gives her the big rush.  Her boss, the son of her company's owner, comes to Paris to straighten things out, making an even bigger mess of things.

AFTER: See what I mean about Ann-Margret?  The plots of her films kept having to invent new and interesting ways for her to get undressed.  After the omniscient camera got its jollies by watching her change clothes in films like "Bye Bye Birdie" and "The Pleasure Seekers" (and before she bared it all in "Carnal Knowledge") there were films like this one where, I kid you not, she tries to sneak into a fashion show, which she's been barred from, by posing as a model.  She's pushed into a dressing room, where immediately a group of women start removing her clothes against her will.  Oh, they definitely stop in "PG" territory, but it's enough to get a man's mind to pay attention.  

This is mostly classic love triangle stuff - a woman takes a job in Paris to get over one boyfriend, only to find another potential love interest, and then steps back while the two men fight it out.  However, she then decides to step out with a third man in order to make the first two jealous, and that's not something you see in a movie very often.  It's an interesting solution to (presumably) an age-old problem.  

The divine Miss A.M. gets to sing another couple numbers here, and at least they're a bit more memorable than the ones from "The Pleasure Seekers".  She also got to keep her wardrobe from the film, which is a nice perk.  But for a film about the fashion industry, I didn't really find the clothing all that exciting, even the dresses seen DURING the fashion show.  They were very boring, maybe they were innovative back in 1966, but by today's standards?  No way.  

The whole plot seems driven by the attitude that saying "No" to a man where sex is concerned is only going to make them more interested in a woman.  Which seems a bit like contrary logic, if you ask me - but it was probably the prevaling attitude of the time, just prior to the sexual revolution of the late 1960's.  We think of the 1960's as a swinging time, but remember, it was only very late in the decade that those attitudes started to get relaxed, the first part of the decade seems more like the 1950's, or at least Hollywood was still holding on to the idea that nothing was really changing.  The message this film has for the young women in the audience seems to be, "Don't be so quick to have sex with a man, or he'll lose respect for you.  If you want to be taken seriously in the business world, you now have to string them along for a lot longer."  

In reality, once women entered the workplace most companies probably had to develop some kind of rules for co-workers dating each other, which the characters here seem to be violating over and over (and sometimes, twice in one night!).  I kid, because mostly these relationships don't seem to be sexual - this might be one of the last films from the Hollywood era where non-married characters couldn't openly be seen having sexual relations, instead they go out on the town, go dancing, go to parties, have picnics down by the river, and they all wait until after marriage to get intimate.  Yeah, right.

There are no real winners here - the boss's son really shouldn't be dating one of the employees, and the fashion designer really shouldn't have tried to get her fired, just because she wouldn't sleep with him.  At least the third guy was honest, in that he was just looking for a good time with no commitments - by comparison you really have to admire his frankness.  Our heroine may be the worst of all, since she juggles three suitors, but that's neither here nor there. 

Also starring Chad Everett, Louis Jourdan (last seen in "Irma la Douce"), Richard Crenna (last seen in "Wait Until Dark"), Edie Adams (last seen in "Under the Yum Yum Tree"), John McGiver (last seen in "Love in the Afternoon"), Marcel Dalio, with cameos from Vito Scotti (also carrying over from "The Pleasure Seekers"), Reta Shaw, and Count Basie & His Orchestra.

RATING: 4 out of 10 nightclubs

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