Sunday, September 9, 2018

Cactus Flower (1969)

Walter Matthau Movie #1 (Please click the links to read my reviews of I Ought to Be in Pictures, JFK, California Suite and The Bad News Bears. Also, be sure to check out my tribute to the films he made with Jack Lemmon) 
Synopsis: Fun-Loving Manhattan dentist realizes he’d much rather have his frumpy, middle-aged secretary than free-spirited Goldie Hawn in her prime. 
Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “A comedy for all time” 
What Did I Learn?: 1) Apparently, they make champagne in Idaho. 2) A man who lies cannot love. 3) One makes the Mexican Measles by mixing gin with tequila. 4) Sex is for teenagers. 
Really?: 1) So, did America have the world’s most efficient postal service in the early 1960s? How could Toni’s suicide not reach Julian’s office the morning after she mailed it? 2) I had a bit of trouble believing Toni (Hawn) would fall for Julian (Matthau) in the first place. It’s certainly possible they had a sugar daddy relationship in place, but a) she has a job, and such a relationship is never clearly spelled out (although he is quite generous), and b) it’s doubtful she would have feelings for him. 
Rating: I wasn’t sure what to expect when I popped my VHS copy of Cactus Flower into the machine a few nights ago, but I found myself pleasantly surprised. Matthau and Hawn share some enjoyable (and very funny) romantic chemistry, while Bergman steals the movie as the acid-tongued medical secretary who comes into her own; her scenes with Jack Weston as the sleazy Harvey Greenfield are hilarious. Highly recommended. 9/10 stars.

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