Wednesday, March 4, 2009
10; Comedy, USA, 1979; D: Blake Edwards, S: Dudley Moore, Julie Andrews, Bo Derek, Robert Webber, Brian Dennehy, Dee Wallace-Stone
George Webber, despite having a great career as a songwriter and a good relationship with singer Samantha, falls in midlife crisis at the age of 42. While driving his car, he spots a beautiful woman, Jennifer, and loses his mind over her despite the fact that she just married her friend David. He finds out her name through the priest and visits her dad, a dentist, but she causes such a calamity in him that he gets drunk and joins a nude party at his neighbor. After an argument with Samantha, he flies to relax at some Mexican sea resort, but spots Jennifer again and saves her husband at the sea. The grateful Jennifer wants to sleep with George, but he changes his mind and returns to Samantha.
A huge commercial success back in it's time, „10“ is today on a rather shaky reputation and critic Alex Sandell even cynically wrote: „And the irony is, the film deserves only a 1“, though it's still a solid (erotic) comedy with a few deeper messages about how an ideal fling may not be better than a stable relationship. Director Blake Edwards included more and more lascivious humor in his later phase of career, which is more than obvious here in numerous nude scenes, which don't seem natural but somehow uneven and cheap. The film is quite sympathetic at first, yet it quickly proves to be an embarrassing vehicle for Dudley Moore since Edwards' sense for humor in such scenes where the old Mrs. Kissle farts and (especially) when George is all staggered and mumbles after his dentist fixed his six cavities proves to be mean-spirited and on a really low comic level. Edwards again forced too much humor from the main character stumbling into something or tripping on to something, since George Webber is not Inspector Clouseau, yet the last third of the film is refreshingly smoother, under control, and some of the best jokes may be in minority, but they come swiftly – like when a Mexican hotel employee is telling how the hotel had only one accident when „some idiot fell asleep on a surfboard and drifted away into the Ocean“ while just then George happens to spot the husband of his beloved 10 out of 10 woman precisely sleeping on a surfboard and drifting further away in the sea. It's a pity Bo Derek speaks up only some 90 minutes into the film since her role is quite neat, whereas the most beautiful moments are without any function, like in the underused role of song fan Mary who adores George, played wonderfully by Dee Wallace-Stone, yet Edwards' weight of talent can be sensed at moments.