Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Overlooked Movies: The Owl and the Pussycat

In talking about What's Up, Doc?last week's entry in this series, I mentioned somewhere or other that while I wasn't a Streisand fan, there was another movie that I liked her in.  That would be The Owl and the Pussycat

Streisand plays a character not unlike the one she plays in What's Up, Doc?, and this time George Segal is excellent as the uptight guy who needs to become a bit livelier, not unlike Ryan O'Neal.  Segal is Felix, an aspiring writer who has nothing but rejection slips to show for his attempts to get published.  Streisand is Doris, an ill-educated aspiring actress (no more successful than Felix), TV addict, and part-time hooker.  They live in the same apartment building, and when Felix complains about the noise from her apartment, she comes to his place and lets him have it.  She's loud, foul-mouthed, and obnoxious, and they get into a shouting match that results in Felix being evicted, too.  Naturally they had to team up and share an apartment.  Naturally, even though Streisand remains (mostly) loud, foul-mouthed, and obnoxious and Felix remains Felix, they're going to fall for each other.  It just takes a while.

Buck Henry wrote the script (it's based on a play), and I laughed all the way through.  In its own way, this movie is as funny to me as What's Up, Doc?  I'm probably in a minority here, as I often am.  That's okay.  To me, this remains a very funny movie.

14 comments:

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

My mother loved this but then, she was a Streisand fanatic. Wasn't there a scene where he goes to the movies to see something she was in but is embarrassed to say the name of the movie? That's about all I've retained after all these years.

Jeff

Bill Crider said...

Yes, but how could you retain that and not remember Babs' great outfit?

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

Oh, I do remember the outfit, just not a lot of plot.

Jeff

Steve Oerkfitz said...

I just find Steisand unwatchable.
Casting her as a call girl? See a lot of refunds in her future.

James Reasoner said...

I like this movie, too, although not as much as WHAT'S UP, DOC. I thought FUNNY GIRL was okay. But that's it for me and Streisand movies.

Bill Crider said...

You like one more than I do, James.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

What, you didn't love THE MAIN EVENT? A STAR IS BORN? YENTL?

I must admit I've never seen any of those, though Jackie certainly has.

The one she loves (again, I've never seen it except short clips) was of course THE WAY WE WERE.

Jeff

Bill Crider said...

I might love those if I saw them, particularly THE MAIN EVENT. But I'll never see them.

James Reasoner said...

I saw A STAR IS BORN when it came out, even reviewed it for the local newspaper when I was working there. Didn't care for it. Or for YENTL, which a friend who was a Streisand fan dragged me to. THE WAY WE WERE is almost watchable for the 1930s stuff, but I'd never sit through it again. Livia and I saw FUNNY LADY, the sequel to FUNNY GIRL, at the drive-in when we were dating, but I remember very little of it, if you know what I mean. The second movie on that double bill was much better: Woody Allen's TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN. That one I watched.

Richard said...

Streisand plays herself in this and most of her films. Like Steve. I find her unwatchable, and her nasal voice is, to me, like fingernails on the blackboard. Guess what? I passed on this movie then, would do so now.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

One of the best parts of IN & OUT was that the character played by Kevin Kline (who didn't know he was gay) was a huge Streisand fan and made everyone around him watch her movies with him. The other best things were Tom Selleck and Joan ("Is EVERYBODY gay?") Cusack.

The worst thing was the Bob Newhart role and the weak end.

Jeff

Bill Crider said...

That's another movie I liked a lot.

Deb said...

It's hard to be neutral about Babs. People either love her or hate her--and her choice of film material sometimes makes it hard for those who love her to defend her. However, in the early seventies she had a good run with For Pete's Sake, What's Up Doc, this one, The Way We Were, etc. what I remember about this was George Segal reading something he wrote: "The sun spat light into the room" (or something equally terrible) and Babs says, "Spat? Spat? The sun doesn't spit!"

Cap'n Bob said...

I can't stand her now, but back in the day I liked her singing and I've always liked What's Up, Doc? and The Owl and the Pussycat. The scene where Segal starts to read her his book is hilarious. (The sun spat morning into ?'s face.) I can't remember the character's name.