Everyone loves to play “dress up.”  It is a just a fact of life. Whether you pretend you are a fireman, Harry Potter, or a princess, humans live to inhabit other people’s identities. It is refreshing and fun even if you just wear a sparkly tiara on your birthday. I have so many wonderful memories of myself and my children making changes to who we see ourselves as every day. Young adults even transform themselves when they go out clubbing. Millions of people give their pets a new look from time to time. Some try to make them seem more human. Change is good for the soul. It keeps us young and in great spirits. This is why audiences worldwide consider SOME LIKE IT HOT a humorous, entertaining, and acceptable way to create a whole new look in order to save Jack Lemon and Tony Curtis. Changing their gender is the only way to get them out of the mobster scene in Chicago. Watching two men portray themselves as women leads to a fast-paced, hilarious night of escapism. 

SOME LIKE IT HOT was way ahead of its time. It opened in 1959 but brought up LBGQT issues still being discussed today. It was directed, produced, and co-written by the amazing Billy Wilder. He knew exactly where and how he would create this crazy farce. Billy once said, “Making movies should be like an amusement park. People go to them to have fun.” His direction was considered subtle to let the actors who were at their peaks shine. It totally worked. SLIH won an Oscar for Best Costumes in black and white. Jack Lemon and Marilyn Monroe won a Golden Globe for their performances, and Jack was nominated for an Oscar as well. Billy Wilder won a Golden Globe for Directing in Comedy. Not bad…

Tony and Jack are two musicians in 1929 trying to make a living in the seedy club scene of Chicago. By accident, they are witnesses to a mob killing and must run for their lives. Problem is they have no money, but luckily, they land a gig in Florida with an all-girls band. There is only one solution to this problem. They have to change their identity and dress as women for the train ride and tour. Oh, they don’t transform into pretty ladies. Walking in heels or trying to keep their undergarments in place makes for hysterical moments that most women can so relate. On the train, they meet the fabulously sexy Sugar (Marilyn Monroe.) “Look at how she moves. It’s like Jell-O on springs.” Life just gets hotter. It doesn’t stop getting complicated all the way through the film. There are chase scenes, romantic interludes on yachts, and an ending that no one saw coming that includes the incomparable Joe E. Brown. He has the final line of the film saying, “No one’s perfect.” Isn’t that the truth? Except, this movie really is comedic perfection.

The ensemble was spectacular. The looks, the breaths, and the giggling on the train berths were magical. The music was jazzy and hot. Marilyn can breathlessly take audiences to a period decades ago. The girls in the band were silly, flirty, and authentic. The costumes were spectacular. SOME LIKE IT HOT was filmed at the Hotel del Coronado and on Coronado Beach. There are pictures hanging in the hallway still today. It’s a stunning location choice, even if it is not actually Florida. 

SOME LIKE IT HOT sparkles with hysterical, witty comedy and simmers with gay subtext. It bubbles pure joy and comedic genius. It is a racy comedy that is non-stop and allows audiences to belly-laugh out loud. It is not really a family movie but rather a guilty pleasure of joyous absurdity. It is one of comedy’s most treasured classics. One that will be revered for ions to come. 

SOME LIKE IT HOT is available to stream on AMAZON PRIME.  

Esta Rosevear

Esta Rosevear has been a Theatre Arts teacher and director for 35+ years, published Children’s author of the Rebecca series, and is passionate about playing her violin, walking, gardening, and reading murder mysteries.

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