Kiss Me, Stupid (1964) is a very fun comedy, almost as lovable as its star, Dean Martin.
Martin portrays an exaggerated version of himself: a womanizing singer named Dino (no surprise there) who gets stuck in a small town with car trouble. A local songwriting duo plots to try to get him to pick up one of their songs. With the help of a call girl (Kim Novak) who they think is Dino’s type, they just may succeed in making it big in the music business.
This is a pretty typical Dean Martin comedy: a silly plot, a few pretty good laughs, pretty ladies bound to be wooed by Martin and – of course – a couple of tunes.
It’s a bit crude, which has apparently ticked off more than a few fans of director Billy Wilder’s usual work (Some Like it Hot, The Seven Year Itch, and The Front Page to name a few — not exactly church films, but apparently seen as much more tame than this). This is probably because fidelity is such a touchy subject matter, and was probably even touchier in the mid-1960s when the film was released.
However, if you’re able to put that aside (or aren’t offended by films of the type), you’re sure to enjoy this one. A few surprises pack a punch in the plot, and the high-energy performances keep the pace moving well.
The thing I like most about this film is how unapologetic its characters are of their flaws. None of them are morally stellar, as is proven by the many bumps and turns that they cause/endure throughout the film, but that doesn’t make them terrible people and they seem to realize the fact. What’s better than self-aware characters dishing out the laughs?
Kiss Me, Stupid is available for instant streaming and DVD delivery on Netflix.