Henry Orient is a madly egocentric and overly amorous avant-garde concert pianist who is hilariously pursued all around New York City by two 14-year-old fans. The girls, Val and Gil chase a harassed Henry all over the city, thwarting his afternoon liaisons with a married woman and leaving utter chaos behind them - until Val's sexually promiscuous mother appears on the scene to put a stop to the girls' shenanigans. Written by
Who writes screenplays like this anymore? The dialogue between the two young, naive and wildly imaginative girls was so apt that my face almost got tired from smiling. Obviously, father and daughter screenwriters Nora and Nunnally Johnson had the time and took care to get it all just right. The direction could hardly have been better, particularly with the two highly-talented young actresses (who seem to have since disappeared from the screen), but above all else, the cinematography was brilliant. The director and cinematographer unleashed an entire arsenal of corny 60's cinematic devices (the camera swivelling upside down, a lyrical romp through the city streets, slow motion and speeded up bits, etc.) but pulled them off so well that corn never tasted so delicious. Also, the frequently unusual camera placement, for instance, bringing the camera almost down to ground level for many of the scenes between the young girls lent an unlikely, but totally convincing perspective to the story. I went to the theater expecting to see a Peter Seller's film, and while he is brilliant in this role, this turned out to be so much more than merely a vehicle for Seller's comedic gifts. So many of the other reviewers in this thread seem to have interpreted this film through the prism of their own experiences. Obviously the story hit home, but they're missing the point - this was film-making at its finest!
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