What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that even in this age of raunchy, Apatow-ian humor, this Blake Edwards comedy is decidedly adult. Its themes -- mid-life crises, commitment issues, and the like -- won’t likely appeal to teens. But there’s plenty of nudity -- naked breasts and backsides -- and numerous sexual situations, including the depiction of a sex party. Participants wander around naked and are briefly shown hooking up in twos and sometimes threes. Expect some mild swearing, too (including the occasional "f--k"). More troubling, however, is the downright objectification of women. They're there to star in male fantasies, and though one woman stands up for herself, it hardly makes up for the rest of the movie.
What's the story?
Plunging into a mid-life crisis at 42, George Webber (Dudley Moore), a famous Malibu-based composer, neglects his loyal girlfriend, Samantha (Julie Andrews), and pursues a young woman, Jenny (Bo Derek), whom he first spies while driving. From that moment on, it’s a lost cause. He can’t seem to stop ogling women everywhere, much to Samantha’s mortification. When she witnesses him frolicking with naked women at the neighbor's house, she breaks up with him. Nursing his broken heart, he heads for Mexico where, in a strange twist, he runs into Jenny, who’s on honeymoon with her new husband. No matter: He’s determined to win her heart, but is she really whom he wants?
Is it any good?
10 is a dated film -- the swinging 1970s references, the brazen, objectifying gaze directed at its female characters. Even taking into context its original date of release, it's still pretty off-putting. Instead of embarking on a more complex examination of what men face as they age (and yes, that can be done even in a comedy), it skims the surface and prefers to stay there, or just under it. (Compare this to the original Heartbreak Kid, which charts a similarly humorous, but touching course for its lead, and there's no contest.) And when women take charge of their own sexuality, double standards come into play.
Despite this, the film does have its very funny, signature Blake Edward moments, such as when George and Jenny go to bed. Moore’s ambivalent, emotionally scattered composer is fantastic. His George has surprising vulnerability, a skill also seen in his winning role in Arthur.) Andrews, too, displays her vast talent, though sadly, she isn't given more to do.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how things have changed since this movie was made. Can you think of any modern movies with similar themes? What are the differences between these films? Do movies reflect society or vice versa?
Is there really such a thing as a mid-life crisis? Or is it a false concept used in media? Talk about how men and women supposedly respond to these crises? What are the storytelling advantages of creating a concept like this?