Lovely and Amazing and Doris and Rock

Monday, July 22nd, 2002 | Film

I’ve had a few days to settle back into San Francisco, and now back to the movies. Tonight I saw a little bit of Rock Hudson and Doris Day in Lover Come Back, not enough to get a complete take on the film, but enough to want to see more of it, and to revisit Pillow Talk and to think about Doris and Rock. They’re so much fun to watch, I think it’s because they present a humorous inversion of traditional sex roles. Doris is a total top, always in control, never duped–even with the soft focus close-ups, her femininity just seems so, well, manly. Rock is just dreamy, a big cream puff who is typically manipulative and charming, often at the same time and with his own vain interests in mind, and seems to always end up is some state of partial nudity. In the end, Rock’s seemingly misguided feminine antics win out over Doris’ masculine logic, in a unique perversion of film tradition. (Nick and Nora experience similar dynamics, but without the partial nudity.)

I also saw Lovely and Amazing tonight, a fine film with really solid acting and a good script. It was like a Todd Solondz film without the perverted edge–ordinary screwed up people, wasted lives and regrets, and bitter, angry women. And their adoped crack ho’ babies. And lots of laughs, liposuction, and inconsequential men.

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