Pros: Great performances from Monroe, Curtis and Lemmon and some very funny moments.
Cons: I felt the ending was somewhat unsatisfying and felt too much like a joke.
I have a sick obsession of watching everything that is number one on all of the American Film Institutes 100 Years lists. Some Like It Hot just happened to be #1 on the 𣺜 Laughs lists so even though this is normally a film that I would never really sit down and watch unless it is on television at twelve oclock on a Sunday morning, I watched it anyways. I was actually in for a pleasant surprise because Some Like It Hot is surprisingly witty and funny and with good acting from Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon, there is little I can refuse, maybe besides the blank ending. But when it comes to having some cross dressing in films, it is always quite risque, not because it would expose controversial uproar, because it is so easy to be mistaken as the fastest way to generate some laughs from audiences.
Some Like It Hot is a story of two struggling musicians, Joe (Tony Curtis) and Jerry (Jack Lemmon), looking for a job but find themselves witnesses of a gang hit. They successfully escaped but find themselves disguising as women band members named Josephine and Daphne, their last resort of a job. They take the train from Chicago to Florida, only to have Josephine fall in love with a modern woman named Sugar (Marilyn Monroe) and to have a rich Florida playboy fall (Joe E. Brown) crazily in love with Daphne.
Unfortunately for Joe and Jerry, the mob is still looking for the two witnesses and I watch them as they scrimmage around corridors of the hotel dressing in and out of their female and male costumes, but at the same time, still pasting on that perfect comedic timing. The two actors are amazing here, as we see Curtis running around in high-heels with Lemmon not far behind. Obviously, those heels on Curtis were designer shoes, no doubt.
There are many theories about the film that speculates the modern message in the 1959 film. Some people suspect homosexuality and some just takes the cross-dressing and gender bending as humorous silliness. You decide for yourselves, but honestly, I think even though it is going for a modern edge with the Monroe character the plot of the cross-dressing of the two men are just there for pure laughter.
One flaw of this film is I could not fully take myself to believe the joke behind the cross-dressing. Sure, sometimes I forget the fact that Josephine and Daphne are just too damn tall, strong, and flat-chest to be actual women, maybe because of the few funny moments, the ending makes the whole joke more unbelievable. Maybe Im taking this film a little too far, but I wished the ending achieved a higher level of satisfaction. The ending hints the film is just a joke, nothing more, but there is so much more we want to know. But as the film tells us, Well, nobodys perfect.
Since Some Like It Hot has also inspired more comedies to have cross-dressing, there are always the pros and the cons. Some films over the years, such as the brilliant 1982 romantic-comedy Tootsie and 1993s surprisingly heartwarming family-related comedy, Mrs. Doubtfire has achieved some merit in making moviegoers laugh. But throughout the years, we still see some recent cons, such as 2004s Connie and Carla and the somewhat horrifying White Chicks. Cross-dressing can come off as quite funny at times, but can be taken advantage of to make, in my opinion, less-than-satisfying products.
Even with my disappointment with the joke-filled ending, I do recommend this Billy Wilder-directed classic for its wonderful acting by the members of the cast. The writing is still crisp, especially compared to todays clumsy work of screenplays, lacking the original stories that the golden age of Hollywood had. The film has its funny, or should I say, hilarious moments, but it failed to come full circle for me. I guess I enjoyed the ride, but I wished the film had a much more satisfying spark, but again, still worth a look.