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>
"Twenty-Nine Years Old, And Trained To Do Nothing"
Oh dear. This is a difficult film to say generous things about. It has funny moments, but they are few and far between. It holds itself out as a satire on Jewish life, especially the materialism and the limitations of the complacent middle-class Jewish American lifestyle ... but when Judy Benjamin (who claims to have rejected her parents' values) is resisting Henri's amorous advances, she learns that he is Jewish and wealthy, and immediately succumbs.
The early scene in which Jewish princess Benjamin complains to Captain Lewis (Eileen Brennan) is funny, but thereafter the military training is a long, long extension of one joke - namely, that Benjamin isn't very good at drill. However, as is always the way with these boot camp movies, the rookies bond and overcome their tribulations, and all goes well. That Benjamin should be sent to a cushy Paris posting is, even allowing for the plot point that brings it about, hard to believe.
The 'Thorn Birds' segment is weak. Benjamin is in and out before the situation is properly established. Jewish weddings are frequent occurrences in American films, and accordingly rather tedious - but this movie manages to give us two fairly protracted ones. Other hackneyed conventions include Paris with accordion music (Henri's office happens to be in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower) and shots of Goldie and Henri walking across the Pont Alexandre III.
Judy's second husband jabbered repeatedly about 'pre-nups', and this returns to haunt her when her prospective third husband insists on her signing a document which she doesn't understand. For all its celebration of marriage, the film's underlying attitude is cynical and materialistic.
"Private Benjamin" was made in 1980, and it hasn't aged well. Sexual harrassment is treated as a joke, as is a Turk's inability to pronounce English clearly. Everybody smokes cigarettes openly onscreen, and 'reds' are considered as the enemy.
Verdict - A Weak Goldie Hawn Vehicle
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