Irma La Douce (1963)

Director: Billy Wilder
Starring: Jack Lemmon, Shirley McLaine

Paris. Nestor (Jack Lemmon) is a  way too honest cop who loses his job and falls in love with a prostitute, Irma (Shirley McLaine). But, because of all her clients, he can’t help being jealous. So he dresses up as a fake british lord and hires her every week, becoming her only client. But it’s hard to pay 500 francs every time…

Ok, not as extraordinary as Some Like it Hot, but definitely on the same page. Fun, rhythm and great talent. Billy Wilder has a staggering skill: telling stories involving topical issues (prostitution, adultery, “transvestite”, murder, sex) in a very light way, but he’s never banal or sappy. Everything becomes just pure entertainment and genuine fun. all the characters, even the secondaries, are so perfectly drawn as to create a complete and functional picture. Every detail is important because it contributes to the general comedy frame: Irma’s green underwear, the bartender’s utterly ridiculous anecdotes (“But that’s another story”), Irma’s heavy drinker dog. It could easily become too much, but under Billy Wilder’s control it never does. His comedies just puts you a good mood, and that’s what the genre is supposed to do. Plus, even in this one the ending is a classic. Long story short: another lecture of good cinema.

“To be overly honest in a dishonest world is like plucking a chicken against the wind… you’ll only wind up with a mouth full of feathers”


Some Like It Hot (1959)

Director: Billy Wilder
Starring: Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, Marilyn Monroe

Some Like It Hot is one of those movies you need to see before you die. It shows what it takes to make a perfect comedy: rhythm. It’s like an orchestra constantly playing a cheerful tune. From the moment Joe and Jerry witness the 1929’s Valentine’s Day Massacre and run away dressed as women, the movie never slows down. Every lie leads to another, every misunderstanding to another, every laugh to another. Even the characters play in perfect synchrony and complete each other: Sugar’s naïvety just goes naturally with Joe’s initiative. And Jerry’s reticence perfectly combines to Osgood’s… desires. More than this, it also proves that a good ending can affect how you feel about the entire movie: Some Like It Hot‘s ending, in fact, makes you love the entire movie even more.

I was so glad I found it on TV this afternoon… Definitely made my day!