Blake Edwards' 10 is a rather clever film for people who have minds open to learning about the psychology behind sexuality and relationships. It deals directly with the complex theme of sexuality from multiple perspectives and bring it into a story about aging. It analyses many themes from the perspectives of both male and female characters while serving predominantly as a realstic look into the complicated functioning of the male psyche which is as relevant now as it was in 1979. While the comedy can never really stay consistent in being genuine comedy and romantic comedy, it does prove intelligent and charming in parts. I can't say that I really laughed much at the film, but I did pick up on a lot of the intelligent angles that it was getting at so I walked away from 10 having learned more about adult sexuality from Blake Edwards.
In the age we live in, sex comedies tend to be more explicit and romantic comedies tend to be dumb. While 10 succeeds as a superior romantic comedy to the formulaic genre of today, it isn't as explicit as one might presume and has a tame sexual nature by today's standards so it has in fact suffered from the battle of age. But 10 still has a certain charm to it. It's a cleverly written film which is directed well by Blake Edwards, even if it is only funny in parts. But it succeeds from a technical standpoint as well because 10 has a lot of lush scenery to it which is shot with beautiful cinematography which in its widescreen style manages to capture every visual element necessary to the success of 10. 10 is a nice visual experience which is gentle on the eyes and yet very beautiful, and it captures a lot of small elements very well.
10 also features a really relaxed musical score which captures the atmosphere of the film nicely and allows the energy to come naturally. Audiences are constantly able to keep their moods in tune with the mood of 10 thanks to the Academy Award nominated musical score and the charm of the also Academy Award nominated song "It's Easy to Say".
10 succeeds from a lot of perspectives in term of physical qualities and storytelling elements. But most of the success in 10 really comes from the efforts that the lead actors contribute to the success of the comedy and the script.
Dudley Moore made a breakthrough in 10 from before his internationally recognised hilarious performance in Arthur. His character is much like the stereotypical Woody Allen character, only restrained and British. And Dudley Moore proves that he is completely up for it because his comedic line delivery and awkward physical demeanour prove key to the success of 10. His lead performance allows for him to interact with a lot of other characters in a successfully comedic way and he never really falters. While the material is not always funny, Dudley Moore does his best to ensure that when it is, it is successfully funny and there is no denying that he succeeds at achieving that in 10.
Julie Andrews is a ice surprise in 10 because I'm usually more accustomed to finding her associated with family friendly films such as her Academy Award winning performance as the titular nanny in Mary Poppins. So to have her in such an adult oriented sex comedy is quite interesting, yet not surprising as it is a film helmed by her husband Blake Edwards. To dispel the possibility of nepotism taking place, Julie Andrews gives it her all and a gives an amiable down to earth performance which is rich with a lot of charm and friendliness that later turns into a hilarious chemistry with Dudley Moore. As her and Dudley Moore are not as bombastically sexually itemised in films, to have them as the charming British pair in an American sexually-based romantic comedy allows for a lot of comedic opportunity which is harnessed more often than not. Julie Andrews proves to be a great addition to the cast of 10 and her charm has merely increased over the years if nothing else.
Bo Derek makes a breakthrough in 10 by showing off her immense sex appeal as a woman and charm as an actress, integrating it all into her characterisation of Jenny Hanley so that she is a genial presence. Her seductive sexual qualities and line delivery make her appealing to audiences and other characters, particularly to the one portrayed by Dudley Moore who she shares a very interesting chemistry with. What the two of them engage about with conversation proves to be very interesting and audiences will find themselves caught up in a complicated conversation entailing the sexual nature of human beings which they can learn much from. Considering how rapidly Bo Derek's career declined after 10 when she began to star in nothing but a string of failures directed by her husband John Derek, it is safe to say that 10 is the true highlight of her career. She is a good actress to have on board and her sexual appeal makes her a treat for the eyes.
I can't say much about Sam J. Jones' performance since it was too small for me to comment on, but I was just happy to see him in another film since I enjoyed his effort in Flash Gordon.
So 10 is a dated comedy which is sporadically funny, but it is more intelligent than the average romantic comedy of the modern day and has a dedicated cast and firm handling of sexual nature.