I recently discovered this little gem of a movie at the library last week.
It's called "Cactus Flower" and it stars Goldie Hawn, Walter Matthau, and Ingrid Bergman.
The 1969 film was the first for Goldie and it earned her the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
The film is kind of dorky, but sweet. Walter Matthau plays Julian, a dentist who pretends to be married so he won't have to settle down with his 21-year-old girlfriend, Toni (played by Goldie). When Toni declares she wants to meet his other half, Julian asks his secretary (played by an alarmingly plain Bergman) to act as his wife. Obviously, hilariousness ensues.
The film is a bit odd. It never explains what Toni finds attractive about the washed-up dentist. He's not particularly wealthy or good-looking. He doesn't even have that great of a personality.
Plus, it was kind of perplexing that in all the time she had been living in her Greenwich Village apartment, Toni seemed to never have noticed her hot 20-something year old beatnik neighbor, Igor. Um, this is a guy who walks around her apartment complex shirtless for no reason throughout the film.
The only aspect of the film that really made me cringe, however, was Ingrid Bergman. I always remembered Ingrid as the beautiful Golden Era movie star who took my breath away in Casablanca. Any memory of that I had is gone. Now when I think of Ingrid Bergman, all I can remember is her dancing awkwardly to a go-go beat with Goldie Hawn, trying so hard to look hip when she just looked like a middle-aged woman with no sense of rhythm. My heart cried. And the costumes didn't do any justice to the Hollywood legend, they just made her look frumpy.
But, of course, the acting and plot are not the reasons I love this film.
It is all Goldie.
Her character is adorably nutty and utterly fabulous. Toni lives in a tiny studio apartment that she decorates with the bright neon colors of the late 1960s. She works in a popular record shop, where she gets to wear cool artsy clothes and hang out with hipsters. She loves to dance no matter where she is. She is young, full of life and energy and sweetness, and loving every second of it.
If you love fabulousness and you love comedy and you love fashion, go rent this film.
Did I mention it's quite a gem?
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