The Misfits-1961

The Misfits-1961

Director John Huston

Starring Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, Montgomery Clift

Scott’s Review #389


Reviewed March 27, 2016

Grade: B+

A dark film about loneliness, insecurity, and the need for friendship, The Misfits (1961) stars several of the era’s great legends in a film that I found both sad and disturbing to watch.

Tragically, two of the stars would soon be gone from this world shortly after the film was made- Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe.  This was the final film for each.

The film, shot in black and white,  has a bleak feel and represents the onset of darker decades in the film (the 1960s and 1970s). Mostly starring in light, feel-good films, The Misfits is a complete departure for Monroe, in particular.

The film is well-written and character-driven, which appeals to me, but cruelty to animals is a lot to take.

Set in Reno, Nevada, Roslyn has arrived from out of town for a quickie divorce. She is staying with Isabelle (Thelma Ritter), who frequently assists women needing divorces, lending as their witness in court.

After the divorce is final, they go to a local watering hole to celebrate life, where they meet an aging cowboy, Gay (Gable), and his tow-truck friend Guido. They all agree to go to Guido’s house in the desert to party. When they arrive, they learn that Guido’s wife has recently died.

From this point, Gay and Roslyn become a couple and grow vegetables at Guido’s house, attempting to begin a normal life. Later, the group decides to round up mustangs and take on a rodeo hand named Perce (Montgomery Clift) to help.

This leads to conflict as Gay’s intention is to sell the horses as dog food. A subplot of a love triangle between Gay, Roslyn, and Perce, emerges.

The Misfits is a difficult watch. It is cynical from a story perspective and sometimes heartbreaking. Each of the principal characters is severely damaged and pained.

We learn that Gay has two estranged children. When he runs into them at a bar, he excitedly wants to introduce them to Roslyn, but they have left before he can.

In a drunken stupor (and a sad scene), he pathetically calls out for them to return, causing a stir. Perce’s father has died and his mother left a changed woman- his stepfather selfishly takes their ranch for himself, despite Perce’s father wanting it to go to Perce.

Alcohol abuse is prevalent throughout the film- obviously, the characters drown their sorrows to escape or avoid the pain that they feel.

The opening credits are unique and feature puzzle pieces- this symbolizes the group’s isolation as individuals and desire to find each other and fit as one- they are all misfits and come together for some sense of companionship.

This is a unique aspect of the film and director John Huston deserves the credit for immediately setting the tone for clever viewers.

The acting in The Misfits is outstanding and I would argue that the performances of Monroe and Gable are the best in their respective careers. They both chartered very dark territory in the lonely and damaged characters that they portrayed.

Thelma Ritter adds sardonic humor but inexplicably vanishes from the film about halfway through- never to return or be mentioned again.

I would have liked to have seen much more from her and more depth to her character of Isabelle. Why was she a misfit? She mentions loving all cowboys so we might assume she has had her share of damaged relationships with men. More clarity might have been interesting.

The final portion of the film is difficult to sit through- an interminable scene involves Gay and Perce savagely rounding up the horses and roping them down overnight. The length of the scene combined with the horse’s struggles to escape will pull at one’s heartstrings.

Knowing that animals, until quite recently, were not treated well on film sets, leaves me twice as unsettled.

Dark stuff.

A film fraught with difficulties (Monroe and writer Arthur Miller’s marriage breakup, Monroe’s and Huston’s substance abuse issues), and a dark subject matter, make The Misfits an intriguing experience.

Having watched the film twice, I am appreciating it more and more with each viewing and think that it contains memorable qualities that are worth exploring.

As the years have passed The Misfits (1961) has become more appreciated, like a fine wine- I am realizing why.

Some Like It Hot-1959

Some Like It Hot-1959

Director Billy Wilder

Starring Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis

Scott’s Review #388


Reviewed March 26, 2016

Grade: A

Considered to be one of the best comedies ever made, Some Like It Hot is a funny, outlandish, yet controlled film, that never teeters too over the top or dives into outrageous camp, but rather is well written, well-acted, and contains great chemistry between the stars.

In a nutshell, it is a film where all of the elements simply come together just right. In film comedy, this is a very rare event to happen. Rather, typically we are treated to formulas or retreads of past successes.

Some Like It Hot feels refreshing and brilliant.

The film was also monumental in paving the way to the eventual elimination of the hated Hays Code, which put many restrictions on American films from 1930-1968.

Some Like It Hot pushed the envelope in important ways, leading to a spike in creativity and art within the film industry that lasted mainly throughout the 1960s and 1970s.

For that, it is a masterpiece.

Down on their luck, broke, and needing work, Jerry and Joe (Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis) are struggling jazz musicians who seek out a meager existence in snowy Chicago. Having witnessed the St. Valentine’s Day massacre, they go on the run from the assailants, who have seen them, and pose as Josephine and Daphne, dressed in drag.

This leads to one humorous situation after another as they take the bus from Chicago to Miami with an all-girl musical band, a slumber party of sorts, led by boozy starlet Sugar Kane (played by Marilyn Monroe), who serves as the band’s vocalist and ukulele player.

Once arrived in sunny Miami “the girls” both find romantic entanglements, with Sugar and rich millionaire, Osgood Fielding III, with obvious comic antics ensuing. Josephine poses as a male Shell Oil Junior in an attempt to woo Sugar with his assumed riches in the oil business.

What makes Some Like It Hot work so well, for starters, is that it does not go too far over the edge to make it seem campy, nor does it play it too straight if you will. The balance is perfect and that makes the film rich with natural, fresh comedy.

Director Billy Wilder chose wisely to film in black and white, thereby avoiding Lemmon and Curtis looking ridiculous with colorful, bright makeup. This was toned down and muted so that it allowed for more believability.

Additionally, the subtle edginess of the film impresses me with each passing watch.  Some Like It Hot got away with a lot in 1959, keeping in mind the restrictions of the day,  and that knowledge gives it a groundbreaking quality.

There is an air of homosexuality throughout and the final line of the film is my favorite allowing for a thought-provoking interpretation.

When Daphne reaches her breaking point with Osgood’s romancing and yanks off his wig professing in a state of exasperation, “I am a man!!” only to hear Osgood’s startling reply of “Well, nobody’s perfect”, is clever dialogue.

Did Osgood know all along that Daphne was male? Will he marry ‘her’ anyway?

Who wouldn’t have blushed gazing at Monroe’s skin-colored and quite revealing outfit? It gave the impression that she was nude, and how funny is the physical comic timing of Lemmon and Curtis together.

Bumbling around in stockings, heels, and dresses, attempting to be feminine, but never really succeeding, but somehow making all of the other characters think that they truly were women is great.

Curtis was reportedly quite uncomfortable in drag and it shows on camera, but this works out well as it gives Josephine a natural awkwardness.

Lemmon went all out in his costumes and his energy comes across.

In my opinion not looking her best, slightly plump and tired looking, Marilyn Monroe still gives the film added life and charm, and who is not mesmerized viewing her on stage singing “I Wanna Be Loved By You”?

To think that Monroe died only three short years later is sad and an appreciation of her career in the final stages.

A risqué, laugh-out-loud, funny treat, Some Like It Hot resonates with me and did so with audiences upon release in 1959.

Comical, smart, and highly influential, the film is a must-see for fans of film comedy done honestly and free of standard cliché.

A blueprint for all smart comedies to follow.

Oscar Nominations: 1 win-Best Director-Billy Wilder, Best Actor-Jack Lemmon, Best Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium, Best Art Direction, Black-and-White, Best Cinematography, Black-and-White, Best Costume Design, Black-and-White (won)

Obvious Child-2014

Obvious Child-2014

Director-Gillian Robespierre

Starring-Jenny Slate

Scott’s Review #387


Reviewed March 22, 2016

Grade: C+

Obvious Child is a 2014 independent comedy nominated for a couple of independent spirit awards, that contains mixed results from me.

It works on some levels but has an irritating underbelly and some unneeded components that ultimately give it a thumbs down.

The major success is star Jenny Slate, a real-life Brooklyn stand-up comic with immeasurable comic timing, who will hopefully become a rising star.

Interesting to note is that Slate starred in a 2009 short film of the same name before said film graduated to a full-length feature.

Slate stars as a twenty-eight-year-old Brooklyn-ite, who moonlights as a stand-up comic in a dingy bar while working in a desolate bookstore that is soon closing.

Conversely, her parents are successful- her mother is a famed professor. When she is unceremoniously dumped by her steady, she takes up with a handsome young man for a one-night stand filled with fun.

Predictably, she winds up pregnant and forges ahead with a plan to abort their child.

The abortion story is quite interesting in that there is never a doubt what she will have done to the unborn child. Unlike films that make abortion the main focus of conflict, Obvious Child wisely does not- every character in the film supports, and even encourages her to have the procedure, including her mother and best friend.

Having been written and directed by women, this is intentional and a way of empowering women, which is one of the high points of the film. If one is on the fence about the topic of abortion or is the pro-life instance, this film may be very tough to watch as its slant is made crystal clear.

Slate is the other high point of the film. She exudes confidence and comic range. Jewish and slightly awkward looking, she is not the leading-lady type and this arguably makes her wit and sarcastic language all the more comical. She is a natural in the comedy department and I am hoping she will go far.

Two slight props for me worth mentioning are the wonderful mention of the classic film Gone with the Wind and the setting of Brooklyn. This was a great nod to film history and the setting gave Obvious Child an authentic New York City feel.

On the other hand, an utter annoyance about Obvious Child is the shameless and constant use of blatant and off-putting bathroom humor- not just once or twice, but numerous times.

How is this necessary to the plot? I really cannot say, but only can surmise that it was deemed necessary by the filmmakers to show that females can give as good as males can. Almost saying, “men can make poop jokes, why can’t women”? Why this is necessary for any film is beyond me and it gives Obvious Child a crass, ugly feel.

The film also has an unrealistic quality to it. Max is portrayed as prince charming. He can do no wrong, supports Donna in any decision she makes, is enamored by her sole being, and loves her unconditionally after only a one-night stand. This would not happen in real life.

The fact that Donna is Jewish and quirky and Max is Christian and straight-laced is not explored. What conflicts would they undoubtedly face? Why were his parents not featured?

Highly uneven, with a great premise and an interesting slant on a still-controversial social issue, Obvious Child succeeds in the story department but fails in its uncalled-for use of potty humor to elicit cheap laughs.

Independent Spirit Award Nominations: Best Female Lead-Jenny Slate, Best First Feature



Director-Paul Feig

Starring-Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham

Scott’s Review #386


Reviewed March 20, 2016

Grade: C+

Spy is a 2015 comedy spy spoof starring funny-lady Melissa McCarthy as a loser desk CIA-analyst suddenly thrown into the field and assigned to rescue a missing agent whom she is also in love with.

Carrying the film in every way, McCarthy is very funny and adds a great deal to an otherwise formulaic,  by the numbers, comedy.

As, admittedly, the “action-comedy” genre is not my favorite, I have seen much worse than Spy, and the premise is quite nice, but the second half of the film sinks into the ridiculous and is very loud and overly long.

McCarthy plays Susan Cooper, a frumpy forty-year-old woman with a decent job as a CIA analyst (she tracks the field agents cameras and warns them of impending peril), an important job, but she is deemed dispensable and a loser by the higher-ups at her job, with more important duties.

She is single, overweight, and lonely, pining after her sophisticated partner Bradley Fine (Jude Law), a field agent and stylish James Bond-type.  After a mishap with Bradley thought dead, Susan goes undercover in France, Rome, and Budapest to solve the case since she will be unnoticed.

Spy is a film with a star that completely carries the film. Personally being a big fan of McCarthy’s and enjoying her performance in whatever she appears in (comedy or drama), this film needs her charisma and comic timing.

Spy contains a few laugh-out-loud moments, especially when McCarthy is forced to take on the persona of one loser after another- a divorcee with multiple cats and a wardrobe to cringe over-throw in a 1980’s perm and you’ve got a great SNL type moment.

The film itself reminds me of a long SNL skit. When McCarthy delivers her one-liners they connect and amuse.

An apparent homage to spy films and James Bond films, Spy seems closer to an Austin Powers film as it goes for more silliness, but not quite as over the top. Still, the European locales offered added elements of Bond films in a pleasant way. McCarthy as an apparent female James Bond is also kind of cute.

A noticeable negative is the unnecessary two-hour running time. With a genre of this nature, a ninety to one-hundred minute running time is all that is necessary, and any more than that and the jokes wane, become redundant, and usually teeter off into the ridiculous, which is exactly what happens with Spy.

Another problem with Spy is the supporting characters. A well-known cast including Rose Byrne, Allison Janney, Jason Statham,  and Bobby Cannavale, each of these actors are cast in cartoon-like, one-note roles.

Cannavale and Byrne are the villains (Sergio and Rayna) in the plot and they play their roles in a one-dimensional way,  as evil as possible, but perhaps also over-acting the parts.

This could be the fault of the director or simply what is accepted in the genre that this is. Janney-  as the tough-as-nails CIA director and Statham as the dumb, temperamental, field agent also overplay their roles.

Why are all of these characters loud, unpleasant, insulting, or all of the above? The answer is it might allow better comedy to have caricatures instead of characters, but that is a debate for another time.

On the other hand, Miranda Hart as McCarthy’s sidekick Nancy, a very tall, awkward woman and Susan’s best friend is great and shares equally in the comic success that McCarthy brings.

Their chemistry is evident and a recommended second pairing would be worth exploring. Unlike the other characters, I felt myself rooting for her and wished her a love interest, though the 50 Cent romantic introduction was strange.

The plot is more or less trivial and rather unimportant in a film like this. Rationally speaking, almost everything that transpires in this film would never happen in real life, but alas, this is the movie, so one must suspend disbelief big time.

Spy is escapist fare to the max.

A hot mess if not for the wit and comic timing that McCarthy brings to the table, Spy has an interesting premise, but fails at delivering anything more than the silly formula that has existed for decades in the film comedy world. I finished the film with mixed emotions.

River of No Return-1954

River of No Return-1954

Director Otto Preminger

Starring Robert Mitchum, Marilyn Monroe

Scott’s Review #385


Reviewed March 15, 2016

Grade: B-

A departure in genre and character from the iconic Marilyn Monroe, most notable for playing “bubble gum” roles, in the 1954 film River of No Return she plays a dance hall singer living in 1875 northwestern United States.

The film is of the Western genre with gorgeous scenery, some authentic and some staged, but the look of the film is a great selling point for me, as well as the performance and appeal of Monroe.

However, the story has major negatives, mainly that it is not very compelling nor is it interesting, not to mention existing plot holes throughout.

The crux of the story is as follows- A widower, Matt Calder (Robert Mitchum), arrives in a tent city in pursuit of his ten-year-old son, Mark, left in the care of Kay (Monroe), while the man who delivered the boy to the town has taken off for the hills.

What follows is a mishmash of the storyline involving Matt, Mark, and Kay being chased by Indians, a love triangle of sorts between Kay, Matt, and Kay’s fiancé Harry, and the father/son reconciliation between Matt and Mark.

The story is not the strong point of the film, nevertheless, it is certainly where the high drama exists.  Despite it being characterized as a Western, a stark contrast to most Marilyn Monroe films, it appears a soft Western with a romantic slant.

There are some kills, to be sure, with vicious wild animals, guns, and knives prevalent, giving it an outdoorsy, naturalistic feel.

The film lacks a streamlined direction and does not seem to know where it’s headed. Is it intended to be an all-out Western, a romance, or some hybrid? Why does the story ultimately not work?

I sensed a snippet of chemistry between Mitchum and Monroe, though they were hardly Clark Gable and Vivian Leigh. One could argue that Matt does not treat Kay very well and it is surprising that Matt is portrayed as the hero in River of No Return.

Close to the middle of the film, while camping along the river, he attempts to rape Kay, where she struggles and ultimately submits. Then, almost as quickly, this fact is forgotten and the story forages forward as a love story. Huh?

At times the film almost seems spliced together from a story perspective and it is just not that compelling or memorable.

As an aside, and upon some research, River of No Return was riddled with problems and setbacks amid shooting, most notably drama existing with Monroe’s needed on-set acting coach who conflicted with director Otto Preminger, and star Robert Mitchum’s heavy drinking.

Then there was Monroe’s broken ankle and numerous weather issues. Publicly, Monroe later stated that River of No Return was her least favorite film that she appeared in. Let’s just say that the gods were not with this film.

River of No Return is certainly an uneven film with a lackluster story and odd chemistry among the characters but contains a marginal appeal to me, mainly due to the talents of Monroe, who carries the weight of an otherwise quite lackluster and forgettable film.

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes-1953

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes-1953

Director Howard Hawks

Starring Jane Russell, Marilyn Monroe

Scott’s Review #384


Reviewed March 13, 2016

Grade: B+

One of the iconic and legendary stars Marilyn Monroe’s better-known offerings from her brief career is Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), a fun musical/romantic comedy.

She stars alongside Jane Russell, another popular Hollywood star from a golden era of film to create this wonderful gem.

Together they have great chemistry and an easy yin and yang relationship, which makes the film light and cheerful, but not meaningless or too fluffy.

It is just right for the genre that it is.

As mentioned before, the romantic comedy has changed in modern cinema and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes contains the innocence and charm that has since been lost. The 1950s were a perfect time for this genre of film.

Lorelei Lee (Monroe) and Dorothy Shaw (Russell) are American showgirls and best friends who perform a stage show together. Lorelei loves diamonds and rich men- she is dating Gus Esmond, an awkward yet lovable young man, who is wealthy but controlled by his father.

Dorothy is less interested in being showered in wealth but prefers handsome, in-shape men. When the girls head to Paris on a cruise ship, the adventures begin- Lorelei is observed and followed by a private investigator (Malone) hired by Gus’s father, while Dorothy is pursued by members of an Olympic swim team.

The film is entertaining and a must-see for all Monroe fans, as it was at the time when she was at her best- Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Some Like it Hot are my personal favorites and she was in the prime of her tragically short film career- sure she plays the “dumb blonde” character with gusto, but there is something innocent and fun about her portrayal of Lorelei and we fall in love with her immediately.

Dorothy is the leader- the smart one- and she compliments Lorelei’s naivety. More worldly and sophisticated she watches out for her counterpart.

What makes the film work so well is the chemistry between Monroe and Russell. The audience buys them as best friends and the two actresses (who reportedly got along famously).

Monroe shines during the legendary number, “Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend”, a number that famously inspired the 1984 Madonna video “Material Girl” that will forever live on in music history.

My favorite scene takes place on the ship as Lorelei gets into trouble as she sneaks into the private investigator’s cabin to obtain incriminating evidence and winds up stuck in the tight cabin window.

The shot of Monroe sticking halfway out the window is funny. She then hilariously enlists a young, precocious child to help her avoid recognition and fool a man with a sub-par vision.

Vision also comes into play when Dorothy disguises herself as Lorelei in a silly fashion (she appears looking more like a drag queen) in a courtroom scene over hi-jinks involving a stolen tiara.

Interesting is the scene in which Dorothy is flocked by dancing Olympic gymnasts and is as provocative as could be in 1953.

Certainly unable to show any form of nudity whatsoever, the dancers are clad in nude-colored shorts, which certainly suggests elements of sexuality, an illusion of nudity, and fits the scene perfectly as Dorothy is in testosterone heaven.  It is like a big, giant fantasy for her.

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) is a successful offering from another cinematic time- a time that is sorely missed. Cute, but not trivial, the film is worth dusting off for a watch every so often and to marvel at the iconic Marilyn Monroe.

Daisy Miller-1974

Daisy Miller-1974

Director Peter Bogdanovich

Starring Cybill Shepard, Cloris Leachman 

Scott’s Review #383


Reviewed March 6, 2016

Grade: B

Daisy Miller is a largely forgotten 1974 film based on a Henry James novella of the same name, directed by Peter Bogdanovich and starring then-girlfriend Cybill Sheperd in the title role.

I admire the film in certain aspects, but ultimately rank the film as good, but not spectacular. I pondered the film afterward and had a feeling that something was missing from it.

The story, set in the late 1800s, tells of a wealthy upstate New York family, led by the naïve Daisy Miller (Sheperd), visiting Europe in the hopes of becoming more cultured and worldly, but instead, are largely met with defiance and snobbery from European sophisticates. Daisy attempts to find love with her numerous potential suitors.

The film is largely shot in Switzerland and Italy.

The romantic story between Daisy and upper-class Frederick Winterbourne is the focal point. Daisy, a chatterbox and flirtatious, captures Winterbourne’s fancy and he gradually woos her but is conflicted by social norms and her innocent involvement with other men, most notably dashing Italian Giovanelli.

This leads to conflict. I noticed some chemistry between Daisy and Winterbourne.

Bogdanovich, who only directed a handful of films, including the masterpiece The Last Picture Show (1971), uses several great actors in both films.

In addition to Sheperd, Cloris Leachman, and Eileen Brennan appear in supporting roles. Leachman as Daisy’s equally chatty and naïve mother, and Brennan as the vicious socialite Mrs. Parker.

Brennan, in particular, shines. Outstanding at playing snobs and unique character roles, this was right up Brennan’s alley and she almost steals the show.

I adored the cinematography and the costumes featured in the production and thought both were the film’s main strengths.

The clothing that the characters were dressed in is both gorgeous and believable for the period. The backdrop during the hotel garden scene is exquisite and picturesque as the lake, sky, and mountain are all in full view adding a unique viewing experience.

I also found the subject of cultural class distinctions quite interesting. The Millers are rich but uneducated and unlikable- they live in Schenectady and are considered far beneath the clever, intelligent figures of Europe.

They do not measure up and they lack the same breeding and class as many of the characters.

Adding to this is the fact that the Millers never really seemed all that interested in being in Europe, almost taking the opportunity for granted, so I was never completely captured by the Millers or found them particularly sympathetic as a group.

Given that she is the focus, I found the character of Daisy Miller a bit unlikable and this could be due to the casting of Sheperd. Daisy’s endless rants, largely about herself, teetered on annoying to say nothing of her irritant little brother.

Sure, Daisy is sweet and kindhearted, but there is something that did not compel me about her. She was a less charismatic, northern version of Scarlett O’Hara.

I kept wondering if other actresses might have brought more to the character and given her more muscle. Was this role a showcase for Sheperd because of her relationship with Bogdanovich?

The conclusion of the film surprised me and features a downcast ending that I did not expect given the sunny mood of the rest of the film, and this is to Bogdanovich’s credit.

He certainly did not make a mainstream film and I admire that.

Daisy Miller (1974) is a mixed bag for me. I give my admiration for some aspects, but the story and the casting could have used a bit of altering.

Oscar Nominations: Best Costume Design

The New Girlfriend-2015

The New Girlfriend-2015

Director-Francois Ozon

Starring-Romain Duris, Anais Demoustier

Scott’s Review #382


Reviewed March 5, 2016

Grade: B

The New Girlfriend is a French, and lighter, version of The Danish Girl, a similarly themed film also released in 2014-2015.

The story involves gender identification confusion among the central character, though the time in The Danish Girl is the 1920’s, The New Girl is set in present times.

The film begins with a brief montage of the lives of two best friends- Laura and  Claire- sharing life and inseparable as children, young adults, and even as married women.

Sadly, we learn that Laura has recently died of a terminal illness and this is where the film begins. Claire embarks on a unique friendship with Laura’s husband David when she catches him wearing female clothing and acting as a “mommy” to his infant daughter.

They form a bond and Claire agrees to harbor David’s secret and even accompany him in public as he slowly takes on the persona of “Virginia”.

I found the film quite compelling throughout most of the running time as we see David’s burning desire to both dresses as a woman and feel like a woman.

We mostly see the bond develop between Claire and David, who sometimes is Virginia, other times David. Claire is happily married to her successful, handsome, husband Gilles and the three individuals are friends- sharing dinners, tennis matches, and evenings consuming wine.

Gilles is unaware of David’s secret and begins to fear an affair has ensued between his wife and his friend. Likewise, during moments, Claire imagines David and Gilles beginning a torrid affair.

Interestingly, the film does not go full steam ahead with the love triangle between Claire/Gilles/David (Virginia) and this is a wise choice. That would have made the film more typical and generic, and perhaps even one-note.

Rather, the point of the film is the struggles David goes through to feel right as a woman and how his friends support him. When he kisses Claire and snuggles with her, it is not sexual- it is to feel close to another woman.

This makes the film more character-driven.

As with many foreign-language films, The New Girlfriend is liberal with nudity, both male and female. When nudity is featured in American films, typically it is gratuitously or sexually.

This film being French, the nudity was tasteful and even beautiful. When Claire is topless it is more expressive as the mystique of the female body than in a showing of a buxom woman, which Claire is not.

The ending of the film slightly disappointed me. The idyllic, fairy tale way that the film wrapped was romanticized and unrealistic. I would have liked to have seen even more of David/Virginia’s struggles and how his in-laws might have wrestled with the idea of their granddaughter being raised by a single man dressing as a woman.

Another flaw was the lack of explanation as to whether David- as a male-desired and yearned to biologically become a woman or if he was satisfied to dress up and publicly look like a woman. The film chose not to go this route and it undoubtedly would have made the film darker, containing a much deeper story.

Instead, The New Girlfriend was light, fun, and wholesome in its overall story.