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Midnight Movie: That’s Life (1968) – Julie Andrews,Jack Lemmon


From Vincent Canby’s NYT Review

WHEN one considers ”personal” films, one usually envisions something small and low-budget, photographed in a black and white that is solemn, self-effacing and artistic. Not Blake Edwards. He hasn’t lived most of his life in and around the southern California movie community without coming to share many of its gaudy values, which he also enthusiastically ridicules.

Mr. Edwards’s personal films are no less big, glittery and comically irreverent than ”Darling Lili,” his most romantic comedy, which was so expensive that it almost broke Paramount Pictures, and his classic farces, including ”Victor/Victoria” and several of his Pink Panther films. Introspection needn’t be a drag. Mr. Edwards likes Hollywood’s style, both in his life and his movies.

”That’s Life!,” which opens today at the Coronet and Guild Theaters, is so rich-looking – and so full of sunlight, warm feelings and wonderfully rude gags – that its worried psyche is obscured much of the time. Yet ”That’s Life!” may be this singular director’s most somber comedy to date.

Its immediate antecedents are ”10” (1979), in which the Edwards surrogate, an acclaimed Hollywood songwriter, faces spiritual decrepitude at age 42, and ”S.O.B.” (1981), a merciless satire about a Hollywood producer made suicidal by his own megalomania and a series of box-office flops.

The Blake Edwards character in ”That’s Life!” is a successful southern California architect named Harvey Fairchild (Jack Lemmon), who’s going to emotional pieces on the eve of his 60th birthday. As his children gather at his ultra-modern oceanside house to celebrate the occasion, Harvey edges toward the brink of total meltdown. MORE AT LINK

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