Saturday, April 27, 2013

Dean's perfectly cast here.

Hey pallies, likes I gotta 'fess up dudes that I never ever gets 'nough time on the ol' net to keeps up with the amazin'ly massive efforts of Dino-devotion bein' shared 'round the Dino-world.  Case in point dudes:  last year in October and early November, ilovedinomartin had the extreme pleasure of sharin' reviews of the four Helmer capers as well as "Rio Bravo" scribed by the very talented modern renaissance man Mr. Ryan Ebelt who hangs his hat at his fab self-tagged blog, " RJE'S FRIENDS OF JUNIOR."

Well, it's been months since I have checked in with our Dino-devoted pallie Ry and feelin' prompted by our great man  to return to Elbelt's pad, likes I discovered that Ry, last December,  had done two absolutely fab reviews  of two more of our great man's great big screen efforts.  Today we are delighted to share Ry's reflections on our Dino in that lesser known comedy, "Who's Been Sleeping In My Bed"....which is yet to find release on DVD.

Ry who has an amazin' way with words, writes magically 'bout this early sixties sex farce sayin' "1963's Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed? allowed me to slip right into that movie world of glamorous people in an impossible situation, a heightened reality."  And what a grand pleasure it is to digest Ry's grand Dino-thoughts.

ilovedinomartin is thrilled to be able to feature 'nother rad review of a Dino-flick from our remarkably Dino-devoted pallie Mr. Ryan Ebelt.  To checks this out in it's original format, simply clicks on the tag of this here Dino-gram.  And in the not to distant Dino-future, ilovedinomartin will 'gain return to pallie Ry's blog for his insightful look that that more rad of rad Dino-comedies...."Kiss Me Stupid."  Dino-gratefully, DMP



"You Never Really Get to Know a Person Until They Put Their Clothes On."

In the last decade or so, the obsession with "reality" has infiltrated everything, and has made me all the more conscious of why everyone in the world should now be required to take a media studies class.  After all, the documentary has rarely been as popular on a mass scale, and yet, one has to realize that even a Ken Burns' ten hour series on PBS still can't show every facet of any subject.  And because there's a filmmaker, there's a point of view, and an opinion on the subject. "Reality"shows have come a long way since the obviously contrived excuse to put a bunch or strangers together and see what happens. Now we watch with baited breath, not only for some person that does some dangerous job in some remote region, but we'll watch a bunch of guys buy storage lockers.  I had an uncle who did that...I never found it that fascinating, though, I'll admit that the thought of a surprise inside was alluring.

Even in movies that bring the modern mythos of superheroes to the big screen is still often tethered to reality.  Rather than exist in a sort of alternate world where super-powers are just the norm, we've tried to ground them in the same world we live in.  It's a fool's errand. As comedian Pete Holmes so expertly put it when an audience member decried the unrealistic CGI of the Hulk as being fake, "The Hulk is fake, buddy."

It's where the whole idea of a "movie world" comes in. It's why we love Quentin Tarantino. His movies have increasingly ceased to exist in the world we occupy and have more and more showed that this would be the world QT would create were he God. And it's why I find myself running back to older films: you know it's a set, you know it's too elegant and glamourous, you know everyone's not that quippy, and coincidences just don't happen like that...and those are all the reasons you love it.

This poster fails to feature the requisite innuendo of the Matt Helm Poster Act....
1963's Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed? allowed me to slip right into that movie world of glamorous people in an impossible situation, a heightened reality. Also, I wouldn't have thought I'd be able to segue a review of a Dean Martin vehicle with Russ Meyer, but I'll have to get back to that.

The movie tells the story of Jason Steel (Dean Martin), a TV actor who plays a doctor who is much beloved to the ladies, but in Jason's real life, he's getting tired of his job and cold feet about his impending nuptials to girlfriend Melissa (Elizabeth Montgomery) because of his poker buddies' varying shaky relationships with their own wives. Now here's where the contrived part comes in: Because Jason seems so much the perfect man, his friends' wives begin setting up rendez-vous with him to help them with their marital problems, which usually leads to their trying to get cozy with him. Only problem is they're all lovely ladies, and it's making it even harder for Jason to commit to his own relationship.  Meanwhile, Melissa to is tiring of Jason's hot then cold routine, while her friend Stella (Carol Burnett) strives to keep them on their way to the altar.

Here you go, ladies: Mr. Right in his jammies.
Naturally, all this leads to Dino slowly cracking up as he has to keep shuffling all these dames around to keep from getting into trouble with their husbands, his friends. Dean's perfectly cast here. His charm and easy-going attitude make it easy to understand why the ladies love him, although his purposely stiff demeanor in the opening scenes on the set of his show had me laughing from the get go. It was 60's TV acting par excellence. But the situation is, of course, patently absurd, but that's exactly what makes it fun. You never doubt why Dino would be both driven crazy by, and yet totally desire to keep playing the field in the spot he's in. It's not reality. I've never seen any extramarital affairs go like this, but that's exactly the fun of it.

Director Daniel Mann keeps the movie at a brisk, but not labored clip, while orchestrating some great comic sequences.  Elizabeth Montgomery was only a year away from becoming "Samantha Stevens" of Bewitched fame, and she's every part the desirable girlfriend that would make the perfect wife. Dino's buddies' wives are played by a fun group of actress and his buddies by a solid crew of familiar character actors. But the show is nearly completely stolen by Carol Burnett in her debut film performance. She is an absolute joy to watch as the oversexed but gawky Stella...which oddly enough brings me back to my Russ Meyer point from earlier.

I'm not sure what Russ saw in her....
Though the movie had several sequences that had me roaring, there's a late scene in a Mexican nightclub that made the whole movie worth while.  Dino and the girls arrive for a celebration when who should they find entertaining the bars patrons but an oddly uncredited burlesque legend, Tura Satana. Tura actually played a showgirl in two of director Daniel Mann's movies (the other being Our Man Flint!  I managed to tie in that as well!), but she's perhaps best known for playing the busty and booted, go-go dancing killer, Varla, from Russ Meyer's immortal Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!  In any event, after her show, Jason has an argument with Melissa and storms out on her and Stella, which leads to the most uproarious segment in the movie as Stella ends up performing her own striptease to pay off the bill!

I only wish I had been on a set that was this fun.
Peeking about the internet, I've seen some reference to the film's "misogyny." Now while it's true that it seems like every woman in the film is a crazy shrew, save Melissa, in the opening minutes of the story, eventually, according to Jason's speech to his therapist friend, they're the most desirable women in the world. The point of the story seems to be that one has to appreciate their spouse and not let their relationship dwindle into the constant fight/ignore territory where the men are all selfish jerks and the women shrieking shrews. And as I mentioned before, this movie obviously represents no reality that I or anyone else has ever lived in.  I don't even have to offer the "it was a different time" defense on this one (ok, maybe a little for some of the somewhat racist moments). Instead, I just wonder whether anyone who honestly thinks that this movie is misogynist enough to comment on it actually enjoys life at all when viewing it through that jaded lens.

Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed? is simply a delight, which left me with a smile on my face from the time I finished watching it until it was time for me to climb between my own sheets wishing I had some of Dino's problems!

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