Let's Make Love (1960)
Marilyn's French Connection
My name is... Lolita... and uh... I'm not supposed to... play... with boys! - Amanda
Technically "Let's Make Love" was Marilyn Monroe's penultimate movie, filming of "Something's Got to Give" was never completed, and whilst she delivers a fun and occasionally memorable performance "Let's Make Love" is not an example of Marilyn Monroe at her best. But then Marilyn is in fact one of the better things about the movie as despite an amusing concept of a business man pretending to be someone else to play himself in a play so he can win her heart, it all ends up rather dull. And to be honest other than an amusing opening, some pleasant cameos the only other truly interesting thing about "Let's Make Love" is that in hindsight it has become known that Marilyn Monroe and co-star Yves Montand had an affair during it's filming. As such "Let's Make Love" whilst having it's moments of fun struggles to really entertain.
Wealthy businessman Jean-Marc Clement (Yves Montand) learns that an off-Broadway review is being put on which is parodying well known people including him. Less than infused he checks out the rehearsals and finds himself being mistook for an actor and gets the role of playing himself in the play, which isn't a bad thing as whilst there he spots the attractive Amanda (Marilyn Monroe - Some Like It Hot) and instantly falls for her. Determined to win her affections Clement employs the help of professionals to coach him but nothing he does seems to grab Amanda's attention and he may have to tell her the truth in order to win her heart.
Whilst the idea of someone masquerading as someone else to attract a woman is not new I actually like the way the storyline to "Let's Make Love" is built around it. It is genuinely amusing that wealthy businessman Jean-marc Clement firstly gets mistaken for an auditionee for a play and secondly that he goes along with it. And it gets funnier that in order to attract the attention of Amanda he tries to compete with a singer by buying jokes, learning to be funny as well as being taught to sing and dance. But whilst the whole idea is good the actual way it ends up coming across is dull and really struggles to grab let alone keep your attention.
The trouble comes from Yves Montand as Jean-Marc Clement as he is the least bit interesting male lead I have watched. Now maybe Clement was designed to be this stiff, uncharismatic character and if so then Montand did a brilliant job because Clement is boring. But I don't believe it was the case and with Clement being so uninteresting it causes "Let's Make Love" to suffer. And what is worse is that despite their affair there is absolutely no chemistry between him and Monroe making it also feels very awkward and clumsy.
Because of this and the fact that Clement is central to everything "Let's Make Love" really ends up very dull. And it is annoying because it does have some very entertaining and memorable moments. The string of cameos from Milton Berle, Bing Crosby and Gene Kelly who try to turn Clement into a performer are amusing as is the whole intro as we learn how the Clement family made and spent their money over a series of generations. And to top it off Marilyn Monroe's rendition of Cole Porter's "My Heart Belongs to Daddy" is wonderful, oozing with sexiness.
Talking of Marilyn Monroe and you have to say that this is not one of her finest performances. Despite looking a little heavy and lacking that sparkling energy she is still entertaining especially in a couple of scenes she shares with Frankie Vaughn. But it feels like she was tired and not really interested in making the movie and it shows despite in reality being one of the best things about the movie especially when called upon to sing.
What this all boils down to is that despite a nice idea "Let's Make Love" ends up rather dull. It just really struggles to kick into gear and with Yves Montand as Jean-Marc Clement central to everything it ends up feeling awkward. It does have some good moments and Marilyn Monroe's rendition of "My Heart Belongs to Daddy" is very memorable but for the most "Let's Make Love" is forgettable.
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