Parents' Guide to

The Seven Year Itch

By Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

Marilyn Monroe comedy is cute but won't interest most kids.

Movie NR 1955 105 minutes
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THE SEVEN YEAR ITCH is a cute, comedic romp but justifiably occupies a lower position in the canons of both Billy Wilder and Marilyn Monroe. Watching the movie, which was adapted from a Broadway play, feels very much like watching a play with its static camera and sets that rarely venture out of the apartment. Opening the movie is an ineffective -- and the movie itself even acknowledges this -- and racially insensitive attempt to tie life in modern-day Manhattan to that of the pre-colonial Native Americans that not even the tongue-in-cheek voiceover can salvage. The pace remains slow for the first third or so; exposition and setup consist of protagonist Richard Sherman (an effectively lackluster Everyman played by Tom Ewell) talking to himself as he goes about his first evening away from the wife and kid.

Fortunately, Marilyn Monroe (as The Girl) eventually makes her appearance, and things brighten considerably. Her screen magnetism and sex appeal are fully captured as she somehow exemplifies both ingénue and temptress. But as good as Monroe was at that, and she was very good, the performance is a bit flat. She doesn't seem truly engaged in the material, which isn't that strong, and seems to be phoning it in a bit -- there's no real spark behind those eyes here. Adults will find a few chuckles, and maybe even a guffaw, here and there, but if your kids are wondering what the big deal about Marilyn Monroe is, show them Some Like It Hot.

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