Viewing Party! Let’s All Watch ‘Some Like It Hot’!

Viewing Party! Let’s All Watch ‘Some Like It Hot’!


“I’m tired of getting the fuzzy end of the lollipop,” says Sugar “Kane” Kowalczyk, the ukulele player with a soft spot for saxophonists. A lot of us know how she feels. Everyone could use a little candy right now, and we can’t think of a sweeter way to spend time than with Sugar and her pals Jo and Daphne watching “Some Like It Hot.”

Even if it’s your first encounter with this 1959 comedy — directed by Billy Wilder from a script that he wrote with I.A.L. Diamond — it spoils nothing to know that Jo and Daphne are really Joe and Jerry, and are played by Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon. Marilyn Monroe, at the height of her comedic powers, is Sugar, who sings “I Wanna Be Loved By You” (and she is) and whose walk Jerry likens to “Jell-O on springs.”

On the run from Chicago gangsters after witnessing the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, Joe and Jerry transform into Jo and Daphne and join Sugar’s all-girl band, Sweet Sue and Her Society Syncopators. The complications and winks come fast and furious, and nearly every line sounds naughty. Daphne, whose instrument is, ahem, the bull fiddle, is romanced by a millionaire, Osgood Fielding III (Joe E. Brown). “Do you use a bow or do you just pluck it?” he asks. “Most of the time,” she replies, “I slap it.”

As Osgood would say: Zowie! Gender-swapped comedy stretches from Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” through Monty Python and the last “Ghostbusters,” but Curtis and Lemmon bring their own brand of zaniness and sex appeal to this iteration. Do movie lovers still like it hot — do you? In his review in The New York Times, A.H. Weiler warned that “a viewer might question the taste of a few of the lines, situations and the prolonged masquerade.” That may still be true, though perhaps for different reasons than Weiler thought. Nobody’s perfect.

Still, “Some Like It Hot” consistently appears in polls of the greatest movies of all time. Whether it’s your first time watching it or your 50th, and whether you’re interested in Marilyn mythology or gender theory, we are eager for your thoughts. The film can be streamed or rented; here’s a guide. Stop by in the comments section afterward — the cutoff is Monday at 6 p.m. Eastern — and please bring your ukulele.



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