09 February 2007

Shampoo

Directed by: Hal Ashby

I recently read somewhere that Hal Ashby's reputation has not aged as well as many believed it would back in his hey-day. I can see why -- Shampoo is a travesty. A ‘70s screwball sex comedy with a glowing reputation (#47 on the American Film Institute's 100 Funniest Films) and it can barely muster a decent joke?

It’s a remarkably unfunny film, with the exception of a few performances (notably Jack Warden) and a few tossed off lines here and there. Warren Beatty, who also co-wrote and co-produced the film, plays a gay pirate, or at least that’s how he’s dressed, decked out in a flamboyant foulard and sporting the most ridiculous haircut in film history. Is that supposed to be intentionally funny or just lamely dated? Who cares? A brief dinner party scene in the middle of the film picks things up a bit, but they just fall off again so quickly that the laughs seem to have been a serendipitous accident. Perhaps frank sexual comments and chides regarding Beatty’s sexuality were risqué and shocking enough to induce a few chuckles thirty years ago, but it just doesn’t cut it, especially in a post-Borat world. Attempts at pathos near the end of the film fall embarrassingly flat. Who gives a shit about these unredeemable, self-obsessed characters? It functions more successfully as an indictment of Beatty-vehicles than it does of the free-lovin’ hipsters of the 1960’s.

Grade: C

3 comments:

james flames said...

the funny thing is i bet there are groups of women all over the country who get together every friday night, watch this movie, and recite it to each other as they giggle and get even fatter eating tubs of cherry garcia. they deserve the shitty lives they lead.

anyway, the letter grade thing is the bomb (yes, the bomb). cheers.

Anonymous said...

Jesus Christ, how old are you people? 12? I bet you can only laugh when people fart or staple their balls to their thighs?
To not be able to detect the humor and satirical social commentary in a fantastic movie like Shampoo is very telling.

H. Stewart said...

There's a movie where people staple their testicles to their thighs? Please let me know where I can find because it sounds hilarious. If someone questioned his sexuality while he did, it could almost be as funny as Shampoo.