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Some Don't Like "Some Like It Hot..."

...and by “some,” I mean “me.”

I know, I know.

I should be crazy about any film that tops most critics’ lists of classic comedies. Trust me, I’ve tried. What’s not to like about Marilyn Monroe at the height of her fame? Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon in drag? The best closing line since “Louie, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship”?

Having watched Some Like It Hot countless times, I’ve succeeded only in proving that insanity really is doing the same thing over and over, but expecting a different result. Because here’s the deal. You know how some people love cilantro, and others say it tastes like soap? Some Like It Hot is my movie cilantro – and it joins my other heretical screen opinions:

Kane Mutiny

Many have called Citizen Kane (insert trumpet flourish) the Greatest Film Ever. Yes, it’s impressive that Orson Welles was just 25 years old when he made it. I admire the guts it took to tackle the thinly veiled life of newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst, who tried to snuff out the picture. Every element of the production is first rate, from the cinematography to the music to the cast. Yet Kane leaves me cold. In the end, I really don’t care about a ruthless, power-hungry publisher or (spoiler alert) his beloved sled.

Hitch Hiker

Alfred Hitchcock is known as the Master of Suspense, but I find his movies formulaic. I’m with Billy Wilder, who said the thrillmeister made “one Hitchcock picture after another.” I’m more apt to chew my nails watching a jittery little film noir. My heart pounds when Burt Lancaster’s assassins close in on him in The Killers. My pulse spikes as Van Heflin tries to outrun his Nazi-colluding past in Act of Violence. I assume the fetal position when Sterling Hayden’s jewel heist unravels with fatal consequences in The Asphalt Jungle. Same with trippy low-budget flicks like Gun Crazy and Detour. But The Birds and Psycho? Shocking? Sure. Suspenseful? Eh.

Tiff This

Breakfast at Tiffany’s may be worshipped by Audrey Hepburn stans, but I would rather be packed inside an unconditioned subway car in August than watch it. Why’s that? Lettuce has more charisma than George Peppard. I find Holly Golightly’s quirkiness more annoying than charming. Even Mickey Rooney later admitted he shouldn’t have played the cringe-worthy role of Audrey’s buck-toothed Japanese neighbor, Mr. Yunioshi.

Got opinions that place you squarely outside the movie mainstream? I propose we christen this condition, “The English Patient Syndrome,” in honor of the Seinfeld episode in which Elaine despised the epic drama that somehow won nine Oscars.

Because for the record, I hated that picture, too!

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Karen Hannsberry
Karen Hannsberry
Nov 02, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Jeannie, your post had me rolling! (Even though I simply refuse to believe that you do not love Some Like It Hot.) I'm not a fan of The Birds either (although I love Psycho), and I always figured I wouldn't like Breakfast at Tiffany's, so I've never seen it. Citizen Kane has grown on me over the years -- it fascinates me more than anything else. As for films that I don't like that everyone else seems to revere, I will offer Arsenic and Old Lace. I tried and tried, but I just cannot with that one. I'm actually embarrassed to admit that in mixed company. Another one that I don't care for is That Touch of Mink -- …

Nov 03, 2023
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Right there with ya Karen on Arsenic and Old Lace -- I love Cary Grant, but he's wayyyyy too frenetic in that one. I'm surprised Frank Capra didn't bring Cary's performance down several hundred notches to a more moderate level. Haven't seen That Touch of Mink for years, but every time I see Doris Day movies, I can't help but think of Oscar Levant's famous line, "I knew Doris Day before she was a virgin"! Haven't seen The Paradine Case, but in terms of Some Like It Hot, since Billy Wilder is my favorite director, I WANT to love every picture he makes. I just don't love farces and I prefer Billy films where I can relate to and care…

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