The Seven Year Itch (1955)

The Seven Year Itch Movie Review………………………………………………………………..

The Seven Year Itch Movie Review

The Seven Year Itch is a 1955 romantic comedy film directed by Billy Wilder and starring Marilyn Monroe and Tom Ewell. It is one of the director’s weakest works.

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When it gets hot like this, you know what I do?

I keep my undies in the icebox!

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The Seven Year Itch Movie Review………………………………………………………………..

It follows a man who is away from his wife and is experiencing the titular psychological term. He meets a beautiful woman and the two hang out and talk for days. The director himself stated that this was “a nothing film” because he couldn’t film it as he should have those days – with a lot of sex and infidelity. But as I usually dislike those, I found this approach satisfying and I really liked that he didn’t cheat on his wife and how the girl actually told him some wise words near the end. I liked that he realized what a fool he was and hurried back to his wife, I liked that their relationship was mostly a fun friendship.

What I didn’t like here is the film’s approach in terms of storytelling. This is one of those movies that is lost potential, it gets half of the scenes right and half very wrong. I was frustrated watching its obvious bad choices unfold in front of my eyes. I am of course talking about the film’s structure and humor.

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The Seven Year Itch Movie Review………………………………………………………………..

The film uses way too many imagination scenes and although they are quite funny and amusing at first, they become annoying as the movie progresses. The same can be said about the protagonist. Richard Sherman is the kind of character that is at first sympathetic and even likable, but he is best used in small doses and here he is at the center of the entire movie and that was just too much and he very quickly got on my nerves. I wished for more Monroe as she was much more sympathetic and memorable.

The other problem, again concerning the structure, is the film’s unwillingness to go into theatrical territory. It should have focused entirely on these two characters and it should have revolved around one room. It is that kind of story and that talkative and narrow approach would have worked wonders here. But unfortunately they put in many other supporting characters and all of them are forgettable and they hurt the movie a lot.

Tom Ewell gives a good performance, but is annoying as a comedian. Marilyn Monroe is as childish and foolish as ever, but it was fascinating watching her give a couple of really smart lines too and she was as amusing and as pretty as ever.

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The Seven Year Itch Movie Review………………………………………………………………..

The comedy in The Seven Year Itch is troublesome. Some of the moments and lines made me laugh and the sexual humor is very funny, but the film is more often than not annoying instead of funny with an excessive use of the protagonist and his dated humor. In fact, the entire film is very dated when you think about it and its age can be seen from the get-go. The pacing is problematic, but the film looks good and the Cinemascope suits it really well and suits its star wonderfully. I liked this film and it was solid, but it was more disappointing than satisfying unfortunately.

The Seven Year Itch is one of those movies that were very contemporary for its time, but are now obviously immensely dated. The film features good performances, a solid relationship between the two stars and is quite funny and charming at times, but it is more annoying than funny with a protagonist that becomes more and more annoying as the film progresses. The movie also should have focused entirely on the two, it should have had a theatrical approach in its production with less characters and the imagination sequences were overly abundant. It is in the end solid and amusing, but a giant mess nonetheless.

My Rating – 3.5

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Posted in 1950s, 1955, FILM DECADES, MOVIE REVIEWS, Romantic Comedy and tagged , , , , , , , .

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