We need more Female Buddy Comedies like Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
I love movies and I love music. So shocker, I love musicals. At least when they are good. Rent has catchy tunes but the plot makes me want to beat my head against a wall. But you go back in the day to when musicals were king and you get some real gems. American in Paris makes me weep at the beauty of the dancing. Guys and Dolls I sing along to EVERY SINGLE TIME. But Gentlemen Prefer Blondes…
Now these two women, at the top of their careers and the true Hollywood A listers partnered up to make a buddy travel film. Yes, Marilyn’s Lorelei is engaged to a man who’s family doesn’t trust her and yes, Jane’s Dorothy meets a man on the boat over to Paris who secretly is there to dig up dirt on her bestie Lorelei and falls in love with her, but fundamentally it is about friendship.
These two have known each other for a long time. They are best friends through everything, even though they are really quite different. Lorelei is social climbing and wants to marry wealthy. Dorothy is down to earth and enjoys her freedom. But they have each others backs in a way that is not often shown in pop culture. There is no real judgement, even when poo hits the fan, just stating things as best they can so they can problem solve. So Lorelei can seek to marry a wealthy man and Dorothy can check out the Olympic team and they question.
So much of how I see friendship, especially female friendships, comes from this movie. I first saw it young and it has stayed with me throughout my life. I might have also been influenced by their style as well, but it is far from the only movie that loves bold colors and red lipstick so I’ll say it definitely helped.
It also made me think about the role of money in relationships. Though Lorelei is very interested in marrying for money, Dorothy is more concerned with love. What is unique is that they are both right and wrong in the movie, and not once do either of them address the fact, that because of each other, they have both. Their careers are amazing because of each other, they are supported, loved and nurtured because of each other. And at the end, in their dual wedding (I know, spoilers) they both get what they want because of what they do to help each other.
Yes, the infamous Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend comes of this movie. But when you watch the movie, it is really quite subversive on the messaging both in the lyrics and in where it is in the plot. The whole Dorothy scene with the Olympic team is a bunch of sexual innuendos using sport phrases and it is quite delicious. The fact it made it past the censors is surprising.
This movie is one of the movies I turn to when I am blue. It reminds me of what I want and who I want to be. And it does it with witty dialogue and amazing clothing. In fact, I think I will watch it now. Jane and Marilyn can rock me to sleep with their amazing support for each other.