Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Julie Christie, You Make Me Go Misty

She laughs, she cries, she feels angry, she feels lonely, she feels guilty, she makes breakfast, she makes love, she makes do, she is strong, she is weak, she is brave, she is scared, she is... an unmarried woman.

Word. But she's a married woman, too. And probably a drag queen or two.

During my recent adventures with legitimately prescribed pharmaceuticals, I was taking a course of steroids, which kept me up all night. That's how I ended up rerunning the 70s greatest hits on cable. One memorable night, I caught both The Eyes of Laura Mars and An Unmarried Woman. The lines above are the marketing tagline from the latter.

Lot to love about both, from the sculpted cheekbones in the former to the unairbrushed sexiness in the latter. Damn, what happened to Jill Clayburgh? I used to dismiss Paul Mazursky, claiming all he did was rip off European films--Willie and Phil, Jules and Jim; Down and Out in Beverly Hills, Boudu Saved From Drowning; and An Unmarried Woman reproduced chunks of Volker Schlondorff's much less sanguine A Free Woman. But now I'm not so callow. Love the scene where Alan Bates (looking like the Hairy Guy from the original Joy of Sex, also a hit around that time) gives the soliloquy on dog poop.

Coincidentally, my husband is distantly related to Mazursky. Apparently they share a Tante, of blessed memory, who was famous for the size of her bust and the exquisite silky thinness of her pastry dough. My husband's grandmother, GiGi, of blessed memory, used to do a priceless imitation of Tante rolling out the rugelah, chest heaving.

I cut my teeth on those women's movies of the 70s, sneaking into the multiplex at Landover Mall. But the greatest of all was Shampoo. Jeez, Shirley MacLaine, Lee Grant, and ahhhhh Julie Christie. And little Carrie Fisher. My best friend and I used to practice her notorious line, eating carrot sticks and hoping Warren Beatty might wander into our backyards. But not in our neighborhood.

UPDATE: Sigh. Drugs haven't worn off. Remove Shirley MacLaine, add Goldie Hawn. Forgive typos and spelling. Namaste.
UP SOMETHING: Forgot Mazursky also co-created The Monkees, Goddess bless him.

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