Monday, March 23, 2009

Must-See Movie: Sex and the Single Girl

Sex and the Single Girl (1964)

Starring our most recent "Va Va Voom" Star of the Day, Natalie Wood, as well as Tony Curtis, this film premiered a year before "The Great Race," that also starred the attractive duo. This 1960's sex romp is another comedic delight. Tony Curtis plays Bob Weston, a writer for paparazzi rag "Dirt." He is working on an article on research psychologist Helen Gurley Brown (Natalie Wood) and her best-selling book Sex and the Single Girl. Bob needs to interview Helen, but she refuses to see him, knowing he's questioning if she "is or is not" one to give authority on sex and could therby ruin her credibility.

Bob impersonates his neighbor, Frank Broderick (Henry Fonda), as a ruse in order to see her on the pretext of marital counseling. After several meetings, Bob attempts to seduce her. Hilarity ensues when Helen asks to meet "his" wife, and Bob mistakenly sends both his secretary, Susan (Leslie Parrish), and his ex-girlfriend Gretchen (Fran Jeffries) to see Helen -- both impersonating Sylvia. But even more confusing is that Helen finds out who the real Mrs. Broderick is (Lauren Bacall) and asks her to appear in her office.

When the real Sylvia arrives the office at the same time as the two other women, Sylvia has Frank put in jail for bigamy. By this point, Helen has realized Bob's trickery and has also discovered who he really is. She leaves town with her colleague Rudy DeMeyer (Mel Ferrer). A wild chase ensues as the bickering couples try to catch up with each other to apologize.

Helen Gurley Brown's self-help best-seller of the same name was the original source for this film, a novel that has been hailed as the predecessor to "Sex and the City." This film begins as your typical 60's sex comedy, but then takes a hysterical slapstick turn in the third act, especially each time people tell Bob he resembles Jack Lemmon. With startling cameos, quick dialogue, and gorgeous Natalie Wood, this film is a fluffy 100-plus minutes that takes a comedic peek in to the lives of the 60's single girls.

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