Director: Blake Edwards
Year Released: 1982
Blake Edwards' remake/update of Viktor Und Viktoria, an old German film, about gender and sexual confusion, and the illusion of the difference between them, is too much of a 'mixed bag' to feel satisfying. Edwards' wife Julie Andrews plays Victoria, a down-on-her-luck singer who is starving in 30-something Paris. She runs into Robert Preston who has a startling idea: have her transform herself into a man so she can go on stage and impersonate a woman (if it sounds complicated ... it's not). Not everybody believes this, especially James Garner, a Chicago-based mobster on vacation/business in France, who becomes obsessed with Victor/Victoria and has to come to terms with his own sexuality (as well as his assistant, played by Alex Karras). Now, a lot of this would work had Edwards not tried to turn some scenes into absolute screwball comedy or out-and-out B-movie silliness, complete with bar brawls and screaming and extreme theatrics that get too be too much after a while. The best scenes in the film are actually the ones that involve extreme subtlety and split-second timing on the part of the actors (most notable is the bedroom scene in which Garner and his assistant are in Andrews and Preston's hotel room and are trying to avoid being caught - it reminded me of the same subtle hotel room hijinks in Edwards' earlier Pink Panther films). It's also far too meandering, and is entirely too long at 2+ hrs. Lesley Ann Warren, acting like a caricature Marilyn Monroe, is too screechy to be funny.