Starring: Marilyn Monroe, Jane Russell, Charles Coburn
Director: Howard Hawks
Running Time: 87 mins
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is an American film about two cabaret singers from Little Rock, who go on a cruise to Paris, remaining constantly pursued by a private detective, an old aristocrat, and a band of dazzled suitors.
Right, this film is definitely funny, in fact I would so far as to say that some parts are surprisingly hilariously farcical, and I enjoyed that aspect of it a lot. However, it isn’t really a good film, due to its incredibly simplistic storyline and irritating spontaneous bursts into song every minute or so.
I’ll start with the musical element of the film. I’ve never been the biggest fan of musicals, they are simply irritating, and this didn’t manage at all to buck that trend.
Although I did like the songs by themselves, and admire certain ones for their standing against time over the last 60 years, however the way that they managed to break up the occasionally chaotic and more entertaining nature of the film was definitely a shame, with their spontaneous appearance regularly ruining my flowing enjoyment.
The story of this film is also not particularly impressive in any way. Yes, its simple story does make for light and easy viewing, however it’s at points so generic, simplistic and predictable, that it often really leaves you a little unsatisfied with what you’ve just watched, because there’s barely any even comical surprises along the way to perk you up a little.
Not to say that that makes the film at all boring to watch, it is easy-going and enjoyable, so it’s not an unpleasant viewing experience, just the opposite, however what it is is an occasionally disappointing viewing experience that regularly leaves you wanting to see more.
However, I loved the comedy in this film. Taking on a very farcical and chaotic atmosphere, within a story easily made for stupidity, this was really easy to laugh at, and laugh I did, on a regular basis, at some of the oddly sly remarks by Marilyn Munroe’s blonde character, or just some of the ridiculous slapstick that popped up every now and then.
Also, the way that this film satirises itself makes for even more fun. At the time, although I’m not entirely sure, there may have been a more generally stereotypical consensus amongst people, suggesting that all blondes are dumb, women just love men for their money, men are always awestruck by every woman they see, and men prefer blondes.
However, the film sees itself for being so stereotypical in its themes, and turns that into the main joke of the whole story, which I found to be a great turn on the part of the makers.
Overall, this gets a 7.0, because although it was an overly simplistic and occasionally unsatisfying musical, it made up for its shortcomings there with its brilliant comedy.