The US needs to convince the visiting emir Khala'ad of Othar to allow an American military base in his strategic realm. Clueless nightclub waitress Sunny Ann Davis accidentally spots and ... See full summary »
When her husband dies on their wedding night, Judy decides to join the United States Army. She realizes that she has never been independent in her entire life. What looks like a bad decision at first, turns out not so bad at all. That is, until her superior officer makes sexual advances on her. She has been transferred to NATO headquarters in Europe and (re)meets the Frenchman Henri Tremont. Judy and Henri decide to marry, but will they? Written by
Berend Meijer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Goldie Hawn once said of the basic training preparation she went through in preparation for this film in the biography 'Pure Goldie: The Life and Times of Goldie Hawn' by Marc Shapiro: "After going through basic training, I would not resist the draft. Provided, of course, I could have a stunt double at all times." See more »
When Judy finishes cleaning the latrine with her toothbrush she walks out of the room barefoot and carrying her black high heeled shoes. In the next shot however, she is wearing red, knee-high rubber boots which subsequently disappear, leaving her barefoot again. See more »
The service comedy is a genre almost as old as cinema itself and, whether it's Charlie Chaplin or Victor McLaglen and Edmund Lowe in the trenches, Andy Griffith befuddling his sergeants, the Carry On team on the assault course or Steve Guttenberg and co at the Police Academy, has an almost immutable formula that is never, ever departed from: through mildly comic misadventure misfit(s) find themselves in the army/navy/air force/police force, are hopelessly unprepared for the harsh realities of basic training, fumble every task yet somehow come out of it all as the perfect soldier/sailor/airman/cop and prove themselves in a mildly comic baptism of fire. Private Benjamin does absolutely nothing to fix what ain't broke, contenting itself to offer the odd slight tweak and flavoring with a mild dose of Jewish humor as Goldie Hawn's sheltered princess finds herself talked into joining the 'new' army by Harry Dean Stanton's smooth-talking recruiting sergeant after husband Albert Brooks dies in the throes of passion before the honeymoon even starts ("Do you remember what the last thing he said was?"] asks his distraught mother, eliciting the reply "I'm coming.").
While it's a given that there are no surprises whatsoever, it's one of those comedies that manages to be pretty consistently funny throughout even if there aren't many really big laughs out of sheer likability. Hawn's character is not too bright but not too Hilton with it her character arc is not just from dependence to self-reliance but more importantly from not being able to understand why Jill Clayburgh walked out on Alan Bates in An Unmarried Woman to being able to make the same choice herself, in the process tackling sexism rather more effectively than G.I. Jane did 17 years later. Eileen Brennan is clearly having a ball as the obligatory sadistic training officer out to make her life hell and there's a quietly impressive supporting cast filling out the ranks as well as a memorable Bill Conti score. It only really misses its step slightly in the scenes where her Monsieur Right (Armand Assante) rather clumsily turns out to be Monsieur Wrong at the end, as if afraid of losing the audience's sympathy long after she's won them over, but not enough to squander the goodwill it's earned by then.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?