Attention, all you survivors of the Swinging '60s: If the only thing you remember about What's New, Pussycat? is Tom Jones's immortal rendition of the Burt Bacharach-Hal David title tune, you're way overdue for another look at this zany 1965 farce. Written by Woody Allen, Pussycat casts Peter O'Toole as the suave editor of a Parisian fashion magazine, a guy who's troubled by his inability to avoid getting involved with beautiful women. Convinced he needs psychiatric help, O'Toole turns to a shrink (Peter Sellers) who's nuttier than any of his patients. The resulting pandemonium is easily recognizable as something conjured up by Allen's febrile imagination, and although the gags aren't all home runs, his batting average is impressive. Director Clive Donner doesn't impose much style on the proceedings; he's content to let an attractive and personable cast do all the heavy lifting. The requisite pulchritude is supplied -- amply, we might add -- by Romy Schneider, Capucine, and Paula Prentiss, with the latter displaying the inimitable timing and delivery that made her a fine, if underused, comedic actress. Sellers plays the shrink with a thick German accent and mugs outrageously (to good effect), and Allen makes his film debut as one of his trademark nebbishes. There's nothing profound or sophisticated about What's New, Pussycat?, and it is unmistakably a product of its times. But that doesn't diminish the picture's entertainment value one little bit, as you'll discover when you get this neatly remastered DVD.
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A notorious womanizer, fashion editor Michael James (Peter O'Toole) decides to seek the help of a psychiatrist when he begins to feel that his inability to commit to a relationship is adversely affecting his personal life. Desperate to remain faithful to his fiancée Carole (Romy Schneider), Michael enlists the help of Dr. Fassbinder (Peter Sellers), blissfully unaware that as Dr. Fassbinder is making the moves on a patient who secretly longs for the seemingly irresistible Michael. As Michael and Carole check into the Chateau Chantelle in hopes of patching up their relationship, Dr. Fassbinder has also arrived at the Chateau in hopes of finally cementing his relationship with the comely patient. As the two couples check into the hotel, disaster looms just beyond the bend in a series of hilarious mishaps that will test both Michael's faithfulness and Dr. Fassbinder's sanity.
Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
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