A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Some Like It Hot is a classic black-and-white comedy. Everything is played for laughs -- from the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, in which gangland hoodlums execute seven other thugs with machine guns, to the broad gender-bending humor that finds the two male heroes masquerading as female musicians for most of the film. Marilyn Monroe as Sugar is at her most voluptuous; clothes are revealing; leering at women is a primary male activity; and attempts at seduction move the plot along. But the only sexual activity is some passionate kissing. There's lots of drinking and smoking; Sugar knows she has a problem with alcohol.
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What's the story?
In SOME LIKE IT HOT, musicians Joe (Tony Curtis) and Jerry (Jack Lemmon) accidentally witness the St. Valentine's Day massacre of a group of bootleggers by Spats Columbo (George Raft) and his mob. Desperate to get out of town, they accept a job with a band on its way to Florida -- an all-girl band -- and they dress as women, calling themselves "Josephine" and "Daphne." When they get to Florida, Joe adopts yet another disguise, this time as a wealthy bachelor, and attempts to woo the band's lead singer, Sugar Kane (Marilyn Monroe). Meanwhile, Osgood (Joe E. Brown), an actual wealthy bachelor, is interested in "Daphne." Meanwhile, Spats and his gang arrive at the hotel for a conference with other gang leaders, which results in even more bloodshed. Can Joe get the girl and get away from Spats?
Is it any good?
This is one of the wildest farces ever filmed, but it has a lot of heart as well, with brilliant performances by all three stars. Monroe is heartbreakingly vulnerable as Sugar in Some Like It Hot, explaining that she always gets "the fuzzy end of the lollypop." Joe must become someone else in order to learn the truth about Sugar (who would never have confided in a man) and about himself (as he sees the consequences of his exploitive behavior and feels what it is like to have men try to force their attentions on him). Jerry, hilariously, turns out to be as suggestible as a woman as he was as a man. As himself, he ends up going along with whatever Joe tells him. In women's clothes, he starts to think of himself as a woman. The scene where he tells Joe he and Osgood are engaged is a classic.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the characters change from their experiences in Some Like It Hot. How does Joe change, and what makes him change? What does he learn from being dressed as a woman? How do Joe and Jerry react differently to dressing as women? How does Sugar behave differently with "Junior" and "Josephine"?
How does the movie present drinking? Do you think the characters drink too much? Does their behavior seem realistic/believable? Are there consequences for what they do?
How do Joe and Jerry react when other men try to force their attentions on them while they're dressed as women? What do they learn? How does this relate to issues of sexism in modern society?
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