It's hard not to muse on this film's notorious $90m backstory when it's so much more interesting than the tired, trite onscreen shenanigans. And then, how are we to account for the abrupt shifts in tone, from 'sophisticated' comedy of manners to shrill slapstick, or for a meandering plotline which shuttles Beatty's philandering husband across time zones and bed partners (Kinski, Hawn, MacDowell) with more desperation than sense - if not by noting that filming stretched from two months to two years of handwringing, re-edits and reshoots? Flat and tirelessly unfunny, the film boasts a conspicuous haute society setting which makes it all the more insulting and complacent. This is how Shampoo might have turned out if Beatty had played the Jack Warden character: Lee Grant's clueless super-rich husband. Beatty's patented passive adultery was already looking thin ten years ago. Here it's just self-serving and sad.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Michael Laughlin, Buck Henry|