A NEW KIND OF LOVE (Melville Shavelson, 1963)

This glamorous fluff finds Joanne Woodward’s “Sam” in Paris copying high-end fashions for the low-end New York fashion house for which she works. There, she amuses her low-end self by pretending to be a high-end call girl in order to make a fool of a sexually profligate American journalist played by Woodward’s husband, Paul Newman.

Where does one begin with this long, boring comedy that generates not a single laugh and this romance without any tenderness or, well, romance? Studio-bound, there isn’t even any Paris except in poorly edited-in cutaway shots, as well as process shots, of Paris!

Oh, the lead performances by Newman and Woodward are abominable—this, the same year that both gave fine dramatic performances, respectively, in Hud and The Stripper. Romantic comedy was not the couple’s métier.

Nor do any of the film’s parodic allusions to other films charm or amuse. Nor do any of the dream sequences work.

One thing does work, however: Edith Head’s satirical fashion show. At least I hope this is a send-up! One cannot imagine anyone but a model wearing any of these clothes; and one certainly can’t imagine any woman taking off any of these clothes.

The fashion show isn’t the only show-within-the-film: Maurice Chevalier exudes his patented charm during a mini-concert.

Melville Shavelson wrote and directed this abysmal film.


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