GOODBYE CHARLIE (1964)
Article 3690 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 9-6-2011
Posting Date: 9-21-2011
Directed by Vincente Minnelli
Featuring Tony Curtis, Debbie Reynolds, Pat Boone
What it is: Comedy, adapted stage play style
A philandering screenwriter is shot by a jealous movie producer, but returns to life as a beautiful woman, much to the frustration of the writer’s best friend.
This is one of those movies that is an adaptation of a stage play, and feels like it for most of the length of the movie, and considering that the movie runs just under two hours, that’s a lot of time to watch two people talking endlessly in mostly the same location. I think the biggest missed opportunity here is Debbie Reynold’s performance; she never once gives me the feeling that she actually is a man in a woman’s body because she plays the character as just too much of a woman, and without that sense of the maleness of the character, the movie never comes across as convincing. Tony Curtis does what he can, but the story is a little too muddled to give him a real and consistent personality. In the end, the only performance that consistently amused me during the movie was Walter Matthau’s as the movie producer; he’s the only one who seems to have the energy and timing to really make his scenes speed along. Unfortunately, he’s a secondary character and is not present for long stretches of the running time, so I’m afraid that I found the movie a real bore.