Another miscalculated Time Out review, if you ask me. While I wholly agree that Blake Edwards' "10" is loaded with technical inferiorities and by-the-numbers camera work that sadly dates the film, its tactful slapstick (which often works as the hand of providence and not simply a ploy for cheap gags), witty exchanges of dialogue (particularly those involving the magnificent Julia Andrews), and delicately covered themes of aging, sexism, and adult romance make it one of the finer mid-life crisis films to grace Hollywood. Dudley Moore carries much of the film with his classic charm, but much is to be said of the supporting characters, including Andrews, an empathetic bar-tending Brian Dennehy, the glamorous Bo Derek, and Dee Wallace as an aging beauty in perhaps the most touching roll of the film. Also, no matter your feelings on Ravel's "Boléro" (truly his most insignificant orchestral work), "10" is a particularly rare music-loving film of a kind audiences seldom come by. One can only help but cherish it.
Time Out saysBefore '10' was released in America, its producers were so certain it was a clinker that they tore up contracts for two other Blake Edwards pictures. The miscalculation was understandable. Much of the film comes on like a Jill Clayburgh picture someone rewrote for Bob Hope, with Moore playing an ageing Unmarried Man who pursues lubricious women (rating them out of an ideal ten) to stave off menopause. Technically it's atrocious, trading on absurd coincidence, lame slapstick, and some peculiarly ugly photography. But the studio failed to see that Edwards had hit on a subject (male sexual insecurity) which was bound to strike a chord with the post-Clayburgh audience. The climactic love scene - in which Moore proves utterly unable to perform when he gets his emancipated dream woman (Derek) to bed - is very funny and represents a real catharsis in the history of Hollywood romance: Dudley Moore became the first actor to turn screen impotence into superstardom.