Film Micrœview #550: The Naked Kiss

03.23.2020 § Leave a comment

Rating: Good.

Two titularly “naked” 60’s B&W films in a row!

What elevates this film from a shrug to a good for me is its use of expression-exchanges, several of them at pivotal moments of the story:

  • Kelly meeting Grant (with Griff on the side)
  • Kelly kissing Grant for the first time
  • Molested girl giving Grant a hug
  • Buff’s visit to the jailhouse

In particular I enjoyed how they weren’t typically fully explained at the time. So not only were we the audience occasionally in on more information than was being communicated in words (which some other characters were missing out on), but occasionally we were in on less information than the characters knew the exchanges meant.

It’s funny because as these scenes came up, for the most part I laughed, finding them quite silly. But once the film had wrapped up I realized they were actually the most dramatically interesting elements!

One thing I could do without is Griff explaining to Kelly how to work with kids at the end. It just didn’t make any sense. Why is doofus cop here suddenly expert while Mary Poppins over here is so distraught she can’t even do what she does for her living? I mean, in general I liked how Griff’s character was not just frustratingly petty; he was just doing his job, and occasionally struggled with his own personal feelings but never let them get the better of him in a cartoonish way.

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