Thursday, August 05, 2010

Moofies - Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)

EXPECTATIONS: I haven't seen a Marilyn Monroe film since I was a kid. I watched chose this film in a tired plane daze, hoping that it would be fun.

REALITY: I enjoyed this way too much.

The plot that surrounds a few catchy song and dance numbers involves two women who take a cruise to Paris. Monroe plays Lorelei Lee, a seemingly airhead blonde who uses her sex appeal to get what she wants out of stupid rich men. Jane Russell, the real star of the film, plays Dorothy Shaw, a headstrong woman who is constantly having to bail Lorelei out of trouble.

I kind of expected a more sexist film, seeing as it was made in 1953 and is titled Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, but this Betty and Veronica team are actually portrayed in an almost empowering way. Monroe plays a vacuous consumer, but at the same time she is a free woman who gets what she wants. Russell eventually succumbs to manpower, but throughout the film she is the strongest character and is constantly turning down romantic offers. She also dances with a bunch of scantily clad men, commanding them and treating them like muscled sex objects. It's still very much a tame product of its time, but not as crazy sexist as I expected it would be.

The musical numbers are fantastic and cheery, and I would happily sit through this campy fest all over again.


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