Thursday, 3 February 2011

♫I Think that You and I Should Get Acquainted♫

What A Way to Go (1964)
Chosen by me from my stack of unwatched dvds. And I love Shirley Maclaine

Despite that cast I had never heard of this film until I read Nathan Rabin's excellent column in the, My Year of Flops. After that I spotted it for a few quid and picked it up to never watch. Until now.
The film starts with a horridly pink coffin, in an horridly pink house being dropped down the stairs and chased after, Benny Hill style, by the pallbearers.
I came close to switching it off at that point.
It did get better (slightly) and has some fun in poking at the perils of wealth and fame but is such a bloated excess itself (again, look at that cast) that all the good ideas are lost amongst some shameless mugging (of course I don't really expect anything else from Dick Van Dyke and a chimpanzee that paints) and expensive but boring looking sets.
Shirley Maclaine is a hoot, whether bouncing off the laconic Mitchum (who mostly retains his dignity despite trying to milk a Bull), dancing with Gene Kelly (the best sequence of the film) or ignoring Dean Martin's advances she remains adorable.
An unexpected modern laugh comes from Paul Newman playing an artist called Larry Flint.

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