“I’m telling you I stink, stink, stink!”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
Response to Peary’s Review:
then later leans “over with her half-exposed breasts close to Ewell’s eyes and ask[s] if he thinks she’s ‘equipped’ to be a mother”.
Indeed, Tashlin — a former animator — “uses” Mansfield’s body so strategically (she’s “barely able to walk” in her “tight sweaters and tight skirts”) that “she looks more like a caricature of the ‘fantasy blonde bosom-beauty of the fifties’ than a real woman”.
However, as Peary notes, “Mansfield is so spirited, lively, and funny that she emerges unscathed”, and somehow manages to “blunt the sexist humor and make it harmless, [so] we don’t feel guilt”. Mansfield and her bosoms aren’t the only fetish exploited and explored by Tashlin, however: as DVD Savant has hinted, the entire film could be viewed as an extended satirical deconstruction of the fifties, given Mansfield’s not-so-secret desire to simply be a housewife rather than pursuing a career (“I’m a domestic”, she guiltily admits), and the strategic inclusion of rock-n-roll throughout the entire narrative. To that end, Peary points out that the “picture has a strong cult today because of the many great rock acts who appear, including Little Richard at his peak” (singing the title song), “Fats Domino, Gene Vincent, and Eddie Cochran”, among others. (My favorite musical act, however, is that given by the apparition of Julie London, in which she sings the haunting “Cry Me a River” in various locations of Ewell’s apartment while he tries in vain to get her out of his mind; it’s a classic, cleverly conceived comedic sequence.)
Redeeming Qualities and Moments: