Lady Summerisle (strange_complex) wrote,
Lady Summerisle
strange_complex

3. The Grass is Greener (1960), dir. Stanley Donen

This was screened on Talking Pictures TV, but I watched it as part of a Zoom-based meet-up organised by Scalarama Leeds. We logged in and chatted for half an hour before the film, then switched the Zoom off to watch it in our separate abodes, and then logged back in to discuss it afterwards.

It's based on a 1956 West End stage-play, and we agreed that it felt like it in the sense of being a bit static and set-bound. It also felt weirdly on the cusp of two different eras without quite managing to make the clash between the two exciting or dynamic. It's basically a drawing-room farce about a love triangle, lightly updated for the post-war era, and within which the American millionaire love-interest played by Robert Mitchum and the husband's London socialite ex-girlfriend played by Jean Simmons felt rather out of place by comparison with the slightly down-at-heel aristocratic central couple. The comedy also sat alongside some quite sincere emotional moments without the two really setting each other off all that effectively either.

Still, Jean Simmons in and of herself was a definite highlight, in a role which to me rather anticipated Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly the following year. And there were some good scenes. There's a split-screen phonecall at one point between the husband and the love-rival, with Jean Simmons and the wife leaning in to hear and comment on what the person on the other end is saying and both couples paralleling each other's actions and words, which we thought was quite cleverly donw. And some quiet-but-effective comedy moments, like when the wife, wanting to offer the love-interest a drink during their first meeting so he would stay a little longer, mused that it was a bit too early to offer him a cup of tea, so he helped himself to a massive G&T instead.

Nice to watch as part of a group and discuss afterwards, but I wouldn't go out of my way to see it otherwise.

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Tags: comedy, films, films watched 2021, reviews
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