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the girl with violets in her lap [userpic]

March 20th, 2006 (11:56 pm)

current mood: wtf?

So, on the wave of my latest Julie Andrews/Carol Burnett kick, I watched S.O.B. tonight. My Lord. It has the distinction of being one of the worst movies I've ever seen, without being stupid. That takes talent. Few things piss me off more in a movie than pandering to the lowest common denominator, and so dumb movies tend to be the movies I like least of all; for a reasonably intelligent movie to fall into that category means that it was doing something really, really wrong.

To give you an idea, here is a brief summary of the plot:

-Robert Mulligan's character, a Hollywood director, has made a new movie in which Julie Andrews runs around with fake freckles on her cheeks and sings "Pollywolly Doodle All Day" amid giant nursery toys. The movie is a flop.
-There is a dead guy on the beach. We don't know who.
-Robert Mulligan tries to kill himself.
-He fails.
-Robert Mulligan tries to kill himself.
-He fails.
-There is still a dead guy on the beach. We still don't know who he is.
-Robert Mulligan tries to kill himself.
-He fails.
-Robert Mulligan tries to kill himself.
-He fails.
-Still with the dead guy on the beach.
-Robert Mulligan tries to kill himself.
-He fails.
-Robert Mulligan has an epiphany! His epiphany is that movies with lots of sex in them sell better than G-rated movies with giant nursery toys and freckled renditions of "Pollywolly Doodle". Robert Mulligan considers this quite a revelation.
-Robert Mulligan acts way crazy.
-More dead guy, more beach.
-Julie Andrews loses the freckles and shows her boobs.
-Robert Mulligan acts way crazy some more.
-The dead guy on the beach gets found, along with a dog that is possibly rabid but it's not really clear. The dead guy is some Hollywood guy. People are sad, for like a minute.
-Robert Mulligan gets mad that his movie has to be distributed before people can see it. He goes even crazier than way crazy, and threatens some people with a water gun.
-The cops shoot Robert Mulligan. He gets dead.
-Some guys steal Robert Mulligan's body from the funeral home.
-They drive his body home, have a drink with it, put a Viking helmet on it, set it on fire and push it out to sea in a rowboat.
-The dog is still on the beach.
-The end.

I think the point of the movie is buried somewhere in the middle of that summary. I bet you can't guess what it is!

Man, I never thought I'd see the day when that wouldn't be enough to redeem a movie for me.


(Deleted comment)
Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: March 21st, 2006 01:44 pm (UTC)

What I can't understand is, it's one of only two movies I've ever seen that has gotten a 100% fresh rating on rottentomatoes.com. So I thought it was going to be brilliant. Wtf? Were all the critics *that* in thrall to Julie Andrews' boobies? Even I have my limits, and you'd think my threshold would be considerably higher than theirs.

Posted by: Stevie Z (sonofabish)
Posted at: March 21st, 2006 04:23 pm (UTC)

The thing with SOB is the broader context. Blake Edwards had a huge beef with Hollywood and critics and this was his slam back at them, that they were vapid and didn't give two whits about art but instead wanted shock and nudity and those alone would be enough to sell a movie.

And it was groundbreaking that he got someone as squeeky-clean as Julie Andrews to show her tits. These days, actress nudity is pretty much a given but back then (and god, I sound old saying this) there was still some shock value.

The other thing to keep in mind is that this movie was also released at a time when the "Moral Majority" was quite powerful, having been a moving force to get Reagan elected and to "restore American values". They had already gotten ABC to drop Soap, the most subversive and perverse show to air up until that time. (Soap is interesting to watch as a museum piece as well and was extremely controversial, especially for Billy Crystal's role as an openly gay man, among other things)

SOB was also a tweak to the MM's effort to be the Christian equivalent of the Taliban.

So context had a lot to do with the how people viewed SOB. With what's come after, the movie is now boring and dated and not at all shocking.

Posted by: don draper's gin-soaked conscience (theholyinnocent)
Posted at: March 21st, 2006 05:43 pm (UTC)

Blake Edwards made a lot of shite movies in the 1970s and 80s, and S.O.B. was probably the worst of them, along with Switch.

Posted by: Underwear Ninja (chavvah)
Posted at: March 21st, 2006 08:12 pm (UTC)

As a serious film scholar, I'm assuming that the point of the film was to see some Julie Andrews boob.

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