“Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify! Simplify!”
There are films we view in our youth that seem to establish an everlasting impression. Most of the time, these films have spent years creating their own following, easily making themselves a part of the long list of revered classics we devote our time to. However, there are a select few that still remain unknown, that hold a special place amongst our personal favorites, although few know of their striking persona.
We all have that one film in our collection that makes others frown in confusion. “I haven’t even heard of this one!” That makes them curious as to why they’re only finding out about it now. That compels them to be clearly smitten after their first introduction. That makes them silently try to comprehend how it’s been in plain sight all along and they never knew.
What a Way to Go! is that movie.
You need only look at the cast list to understand what I mean.
Shirley MacLaine. Dick Van Dyke. Paul Newman (If you haven’t signed up by this point, I have to question your sanity). Robert Mitchum. Gene Kelly. Dean Martin. Four husbands, one woman desperately searching for the simple life and the epic love story that accompanies it.
A woman who travels a problematic road, repeatedly discovering the disastrous impact power and money have over a dedicated relationship. Which is like nothing you would ever expect, especially out of a vintage comedy. Yes, you heard correctly. A comedy that shifts from a show-stopping musical number to a sleek Parisian romance, a comical silent film to an ostentatious spoof. What a Way to Go! sets itself apart with unique storytelling, elaborate sequences, and sensational costumes.
Whether Shirley MacLaine and Gene Kelly are abruptly participating in an operatic ballad, or you’re uncontrollably swooning as Paul Newman declares his love in perfect french, there is not doubt, this film is endlessly entertaining. It’s my go-to on days when I need a little deviation; the perfect remedy I need for a rainy Monday morning. After all, there are so many times you can watch The Notebook, before it becomes repetitive.
Actually, that’s a lie. This is a good substitution, though.
Movie Rating: A
Have you seen What a Way to Go!? Will you? What did you think of the film? What was your favorite scene? Favorite line? What’s your favorite classic comedy? Your favorite cult classic? Tell me in the comments!