6th Apr 2017
| ||Rated 9/10.....If there is one film to see before you die, then see this one.|
It has Woody Allen's ghost all over it, you know awkward Jewish humour, and yet he is nowhere to be seen. Directed by Elaine May, who I believe worked with Mel Brooks earlier in her career.
The whole film revolves around Botanist Henrietta Lowell, beautifully played by Elaine May as the ditzy (and I mean capital D) middle-aged heiress and spinster, who is pursued relentlessly by Henry Graham (Walter Matthau), and he sees her as his meal ticket for the rest of his life.
Henry Graham is a cad, flat broke, drives a Ferrari in New York, and has a Butler. He lives an extravagant lifestyle, has no moral compass at all, and is surrounded by others of his ilk, see Jack Weston .as Henry Graham's accountant, who is as crooked as the day is long.
Jack Weston was hilarious in another film I rate for LOL comedy "The Ritz"
Henrietta is gauche, slightly bad tempered, with an awful Brooklyn accent, and with a slight lisp, and lives for butterflies. The plot moves towards the couple taking a trip to try to discover new species, and Henry thinks that this is his chance to "bump her off" to inherit her fortune.
At this point I am not sure if they had married, it is a long time since I last saw this film, and on a previous airing on UK TV, I videotaped it, god knows where that is now.....
Henry is like a father with a young teenage daughter (Henrietta), and he constantly scolds her in matters of etiquette, social demeanor, and how to invest her money. She takes this all in good grace, and often when they speak to each other, it is like two people holding completely unconnecting conversations.........a bit weird.
During the trials and tribulations of their relationship, Henry discovers that all the staff at her country estate are "on the take", and puts an end to that, but as a hypocrite, that is exactly what he is intending. Henrietta seems devoted to Henry, despite his boorish behaviour, and the subject of consummation of their relationship is not delved into.
At the end of the film after rescuing her from a river, where he was intending she should drown, he realises he actually loves her deeply, so good triumphs over evil.
PS. As a child, when we would visit my paternal grandmother, who always kept chickens, we would find a big mumsy Hen that we could pet (not easy with chickens, as they are ditzy too), and guess what name we gave to the object of our interest and affection, that's right, Henrietta......
Still available on DVD/or BlueRay from USA A NEW LEAF (1971)
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