“Nobody’s perfect” in SOME LIKE IT HOT (dir. Billy Wilder, 1959)

Some Like It Hot is the story of two struggling musicians, Jerry and Joe, who flee the mob and a Chicago winter dressed as women in an all-girl musical band. Toni Curtis as Joe/Josephine has his sights set on Sugar, Marilyn Monroe’s character, while Jack Lemmon’s character Daphne is romanced by Osgood Fielding III, played by Joe Brown. Cross-dressing hilarity ensues; but in a movie filled with side splitting comedic scenes, it’s the ending that takes the cake. The timing and facial expressions, for lack of a better word, are perfect. What makes the scene great, for me, is that director Billy Wilder opts to end on a comedic rather than a romantic note. The camera moves from the sappy ending between Sugar and Joe to Daphne and Osgood in the front. The boy gets the girl at the end of countless films, as we see with Sugar and Joe, but how often do Jack Lemmon and Joe E. Brown end up together?

–Annetté Colman

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