Tuesday, 5 May 2009

No. 118 : What’s New Pussycat?

Here’s a film that looks a cracker but turns out to be a lot of self indulgent twaddle. We open with Peter Sellers running about doing a funny German accent and acting all manic. Not promising. We learn that he’s a psychologist and his next patient is Peter O’Toole who has a messy love life.

Peter’s girlfriend wants to settle down and, although he loves her, he can’t resist the allure of all the ladies. He works with gaggles of beautiful woman as an editor on a Paris fashion magazine and can’t help himself from sampling the goods, so to speak. Sellers is in no state to offer advice due to his own domestic problems and resolves to follow his patient to get a low down on his techniques.

Elsewhere Woody Allen is in town, playing himself as usual, this time masquerading as a dresser at a strip show. “20 Francs a week isn’t much but it’s all I can afford to pay” he muses in one of the better lines. As we tour Peter’s hedonistic life we start to lose all empathy for him as he seems a right moaning git - if it’s so bad I’ll swap places right now!

The film is not so much about his journey of self discovery rather than a decadent trip through the lives of the rich and famous. This empty experience is punctured somewhat by the group therapy sessions, but as all the other patients are fat and ugly we are encouraged not to care about them and laugh at their unattractiveness.

Peppered throughout the film are various star turns such as Richard Burton and Ursula Andress, cashing in on her Bond fame once again, but these are pretty pointless and add only to the film’s air of fantasy and vapidness. It may be a sixties thing, and it may be great with pots of drugs on hand, but for me Sellers and O’Toole talking a lot of bollocks while pulling birds and wearing velvet suits isn’t an ideal viewing experience.

No real effort is made at redemption and no insights are offered into the human condition. Instead we get protracted scenes of fashionable lovelies fawning over O’Toole and telling him he’s beautiful. Nice work if you can get it, but it’s tiresome from the off and it just trails off from there.

Much of the dialogue is screamed out with even the lowest volume setting unbearable. Add to this a druggy hippy soundtrack and you get a downright unpleasant experience that I gave up on after an hour. I will never know if Peter and Peter found true love and happiness, but frankly I couldn’t care less

Best Bit : Sexy lady fantasy
‘W’ Rating : 7/23

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