Mary Poppins Returns
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All Critics (22)
| Top Critics (7)
| Fresh (16)
| Rotten (6)
| DVD (2)
Wilder, usually a director of considerable flair and inventiveness -- has not been able this time out to rise above a basically vulgar, as well as creatively delinquent, screenplay...
Characteristically cynical, clever and brash, it's helped out enormously by the performances of Martin, Farr and (particularly) Novak...
I recommend Kiss Me, Stupid to the skeptical with no reservations whatsoever.
Kiss Me, Stupid is unlikely to inspire a Broadway musical, top an AFI poll, or birth a hundred-dollar coffee-table book, but it could burnish Wilder's posthumous reputation.
Both Martin and Novak are at their near best, and the undertone of small-town desperation in Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond's script is effectively captured by Walston and his sidekick, Cliff Osmond.
In any event, this has to rank as Wilder's most corrosive and despairing portrait of America.
Though Kiss Me, Stupid has the structure and comic beats of a classic bedroom farce, it's an overwhelmingly cynical assessment of male jealousy and exploitation.
Being a HUGE Wilder fan, I can honestly say that this was a HUGE disappointment. I'd rather watch this than say, BIG MOMMA'S HOUSE 2, but I expected something much better from a director as talented as Wilder.
Sprinkling in bad jokes and Rat Pack references, Dean Martin's comic timing and delivery is impeccable -- as he parodies and deconstructs his image as a notorious lover and drunk.
Whatever ambitions this romantic comedy might have had, they were never realized.
Early production problems show, still fun Wilder
What separates 'Stupid' from so many of the so-called 'sex comedies' of the period is its combination of cynicism and directness. Beneath the teasing and the titillation there are some genuinely provocative themes...
Laughs and nostalgia intertwine beautifully in Wilder's explorations of American values and culture. Prostitution, pimping and wife swapping are decorously wrapped in a sweet and cunning manner. The viennese genius never ceases to amaze me.
Coarse, leeing and jejune this borderline idiotic enterprise is unbelievably the joint effort of the usually sterling team of Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond who were WAY off their game here. Cast of fine actors are directed to make fools of themselves with Ray Walston's character being particularly infantile. A notorious flop in it's day whatever Wilder, a master of dark satire, is trying to portray or lampoon in this vulgar mess is hard to ascertain. A miss.
A funny flick from Wilder, but it's not one of his best, the story is pretty average. It's pretty good, and sometimes pretty funny, but it could be better.
The plot description as it is currently written is correct to say the plot is contorted. Kim Novak is totally seductive with her low smoky voice and cleavage exposing wardrobe. Her character Polly is supposed to have a cold so her voice is even more nasally and syrupy. Ray Walston's wife as played by Farr is also just as attrative. Walston plays Orville Spooner as an extremely jealous and paranoid piano teacher who has a Betthoven sweater, a Mozart sweater, and a Brahms sweater. He's another square character in a Billy Wilder movie of the swingin' sixties. Osmond works a gas station across the street from Walston's character and plays an amateur lyricist partner to Walston's composer. Dean Martin plays Dino, or himself, if not slightly more drunk and more of a womanizer than he may have been in real life. Dino passes through the little desert town of Climax and is stranded. The song writing duo want to take advantage of the opportunity to sell a song or two and set up a scheme to try and make Dino feel comfortable. Spooner gets his wife out of the house and hires Polly from a local Hooters type bar to pretend to be his wife so he doesn't feel guilty about offering her to Dino to sweeten the deal on buying a song. They have their fantasy marriage for a night and Spooner is such a gentleman he realizes he can't even let Dino have an affair with his fake wife. Spooner treats her honorably eventually, so she won't take payment and they feel like they really were husband and wife for this one night. Meanwhile Spooner's wife ends up drunk at the bar and is taken to sleep in Polly's trailer. Dino thinks all along that Polly was Spooner's wife and shows up at the bar later. He finds out from the bartender that Polly is what he's looking for and heads to the trailer where he thinks Spooner's real wife is Polly. Now there was an alternate scene on the DVD I saw, so maybe something happened in the trailer or maybe it didn't. Well, the writing and performances aren't of the best quality, but it seems everyone involved is having fun.
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