NO STOPPING YOURSELF
Like Salt & Pepper Kettle chips, once you start munching on the addictive fat of The Best of Everything, you won’t want to stop. Highly enjoyable sexist trash—coming on the heels of Peyton Place—with a bang up cast trying to pull off one low after another: Joan Crawford, Hope Lange, Brian Aherne, Diane Baker, Suzy Parker, Martha Hyer, and, Vitalis’d to the max, Stephen Boyd, Louis Jourdan, Brett Halsey and Robert Evans who, quipped a critic some years ago, “gives good sleaze.” Someone must have decided that Lange needed to look like Grace Kelly; the closest she gets is Vera Miles. In her Shirley Jones stoic severity, Hyer’s role feels sliced because it is; previews indicated audiences didn’t go for her brand of adultery with the nongreaser Donald Harron. Crawford’s is gutted as well and that’s too bad: as a seasoned bitch she brings star power and some good laughs, especially her phone conversation with her married lover. (One of the cuts is a Crawford drunk scene; maybe it’ll show up one day, adding to her many howlers that have given us endless pleasure.) The incredible, indelibly American beauty Suzy—whose gliding frame was the hanger every designer would kill for, and whose tongue-in-cheek frolic in front of the still photographer made her justly famous—goes unconvincingly warpy for slimebag Jourdan. Suzy providing maid service to Joanie, or rummaging through garbage? Not with that face, behind which was a sharp, outspoken mind as the inspiration for Audrey Hepburn’s Funny Face. (A relatively short acting career, Suzy’s other decent work is with Gary Cooper in Ten North Frederick.) Rona Jaffe’s novel and the movie were very popular among late 50s and early 60s high school and college grads who would dream of working and romancing in the big city—a forerunner to “Sex and the City”—and share pads to get away from Mom and Pop. Johnny Mathis sings the Oscar-nominated title song in his irreproducible style. Directed by Jean Negulesco; Jerry Wald producer.
Text COPYRIGHT © 2001 RALPH BENNER All Rights Reserved.