Billy Wilder's classic comedy Some Like It Hot screens for one week at Film Forum. Take the advantage to pull this film—one of those movies that every movie lover has to see—off your Netflix queue and go catch it on the big screen.
The movie starts out looking more like a gangster flick than a laugh riot, with two Chicago musicians—Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon—witnessing the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. When the shooters spot them, the hapless musicians go on the lam, hopping into two vacancies with Sweet Sue and her band. Thing is, it's an all girl group.
And thus the laughs begin, as the guys don dresses, wigs, and ridiculous falsettos. One of the funniest parts of their farce is that though they look awful in drag, no one picks up on their masquerade. Certainly Sugar Kane, the band's main attraction and the guy's new best friend, doesn't. The singer, played by a sultry Marilyn Monroe, cozies up to Curtis, who of course has trouble, shall we say, hiding, his attraction for her.
The double entendres abound, and then become triple entendres, as Curtis goes from drag to riches, pretending to be a millionaire in order to woo Sugar. The scene in which he pretends to be unmoved by her kiss and so asks her to try kissing him again, and then again, crackles with romantic tension and risqué humor that sounds more 2009 than 1959. You would never know it took Marilyn take after take to nail her lines.
Despite a C of Condemnation from the Catholic Legion of Decency, Some Like It Hot was a box office hit and scored six Oscar nominations, and now sits atop the American Film Institute's Top 100 Funniest American Movies of All Time. Rightfully so. No other movie since has successfully packed guys in dresses, sexual innuendo, chase sequences, catchy musical numbers, sexy divas, and physical pratfalls into the same wonderful, crazy story.