|They All Laughed
| I dont really know why I never tracked this one down before now. I'm a pretty big fan of Bogdanovich's early films... actually I like most of his stuff that I've seen. Anyway, I can add this to the list now... i liked it quite a lot.
Ben Gazzara and John Ritter are private detectives following around Audrey Hepburn and Dorothy Stratten respectively, basically having fun in manhattan and happening to make a movie in the process. This shares a lot with Saint Jack in that the location shooting seems authentic and loose, the story is fairly languid in structure and pacing, and it's really more about spending time with characters that you really like than worrying about any sort of conflict. Plus Gazzara plays a ladies man which is awesome and John Ritter plays a goofier younger version of Bogdanovich which is... actually that part's pretty weird since he's following Stratten around. Stratton is undeniably beautiful but damn is she can act her way across a street. I think she's handled well in this film, largely a long-range target of affection never really fleshed out as a character per se, but whenever she talks I kind of wish she wouldn't. Hepburn on the other hand works just as well as a completely different kind of distanced woman. When we finally get a bit closer to her it's not so much following the hot girl down highschool hallways as getting to talk to the really charismatic girl you've seen talk to much hotter guys than you. I don't know if that makes sense... both actresses fit their roles well but for completely different reasons.
I must say though... the highligh performance of the film for me (ok, aside from Gazzara, he's awesome) is Blaine Novak as the roller skating longhair working with Ritter and Benny. That dude is great; I loved every second he's on screen. They're all pretty great though, coming up with an endless supply of little pieces of business. Actually the whole movie seems fairly obsessed with non-verbal communication. There are tons of hand signals, quick looks, and minute gestures throughout, all giving off a vibe of realism and that the main guys have been working with each other for a while.
Then there's the women. Equally great, all hot. Yeah.
This one was quite a surprise for me. It's pretty great.