Product DetailsOnce upon a time there was a publishing phenomenon called Sex and the Single Girl, a book that opened the door to the sexual revolution in the 1960s. Sure enough, Hollywood noticed, and Helen Gurley Brown's advice volume was turned into a 1964 sex comedy with a newly invented plot. Natalie Wood plays Brown herself (well, a completely fictionalized person named Helen Brown), whose success as an author infuriates Tony Curtis, a writer for a Playboy-esque men's magazine. He pretends to need her help as a psychologist, a masquerade that leads to sparks. It's all vintage stuff, from Tony's swinging bachelor pad to the barrel-sized highballs slugged down by unhappy marrieds Henry Fonda and Lauren Bacall, who live next door to Curtis. Director Richard Quine (Bell Book and Candle) made some sharp comedies around this time, and there are some good sight gags along the way (check the scene, with Count Basie and his orchestra, of Fonda and Bacall doing the twist). Alas, the movie leans a little too easily on the bedroom-farce leer, which Curtis had perfected at this point, and it's clear that Gurley Brown's ideas about female independence are not taken terribly seriously here. The movie's got a nice performance by screwball-comedy stalwart Edward Everett Horton, and smokin' hot '60s songstress Fran Jeffries contributes a few songs (this was about the time she sashayed into The Pink Panther, too--she must have impressed Richard Quine, because they were married shortly thereafter). One intriguing credit: this is one of the few films partly scripted by Catch-22 author Joseph Heller. Try to find his voice, if you can.
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