Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|I Love You Alice B Toklas|
Actors: Peter Sellers, Leigh Taylor-Young
Director: Hy Averback
One day you're a career 9-to-5er with a pending marriage. The next, you chuck it all for beads, bell-bottoms and free love. That's how things are for Harold Fine, a dedicated lawyer about to become a more dedicated dropout... more »
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Victoria G. from SAN ANSELMO, CA
Reviewed on 2/20/2010...
This is one of my favorite movies. HILARIOUS. Peter Sellers and the whole cast are hilarious, the writing...the whole thing is a gem. If you need a good laugh - watch this.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
A very, very different time
Chris K. Wilson | Dallas, TX United States | 06/02/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The 1960s was such a unique decade - a kind of bridge connecting the bizarrely Eisenhower 50s with the polyester Nixon 70s. Watching films from the 60s is equally amusing. I watched "I Love You Alice B. Toklas" the other night, the 1968 drama/comedy starring the late-great Peter Sellers.
No multiple roles here for Mr. Sellers, and rarely a moment of slapstick. In fact, it's a serenely subtle performance as Sellers plays an inhibited square lawyer bored with the prospect of spending the rest of his life with his fiancee - a woman who happens to be his secretary. Sellers' character is about as exciting as Darrin Stephens with a hangover. But he's jarred from his straight-laced shell by the appearance of a free-spirited hippie chick who's fond of sitar music and hash brownies.
While hippies had been on the scene for a couple of years by 1968, not too many had been seen in films. But the message, I think, is the key.
A middle-aged, disillusioned man drops out of society to discover himself. He backs out of his wedding, quits his job and lives in the backseat of his car with his young hippie chick (played by the lovely Leigh Taylor-Young). This was a fairly brave stance during an era when society was told to marry, propagate and move to the suburbs.
The keynote moment, and one of the funniest scenes I have seen in a while, happens when Peter Sellers, his fiancee and his parents accidentally sample some hash brownies (made from an old Alice B. Toklas recipe, thus the film's title). This straight-laced crew, tasting drugs for the first time, fall on the floor in fits of laughter, playfully disrobe and eventually decide to play miniature golf. That's right, miniature golf. In some way, a dash of hash has enabled them to loosen up and touch their inner child. Sellers soon discovers the free-spirit path is not for him either, leading to the film's unforgettable final scene.
Paul Mazursky wrote the screenplay to this film, and would soon evolve into one of the greatest film directors no one has ever heard of. Mazursky's resume includes such brilliant works as "Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice," "An Unmarried Woman," "Moscow on the Hudson" and "Enemies: A Love Story." "I Love You Alice B. Toklas" is where it began for this uniquely gifted filmmaker, a man whose works consistently document love, life and America's freedoms. Mazursky embraces the hippie movement of the 60s, but more so, embraces spiritual freedom.
As Altamont and the deaths of Joplin, Hendrix and Morrison revealed by 1971, the hippie movement was not the answer. In some ways, Mazursky already knew this. But with a purity of heart, he essentially said we could all learn something from this important philosophical uprising. I can't help but remember a film review of "Woodstock" by Roger Ebert. He profoundly said, "This was a time when people believed they could change the world with music. Today, it is very, very different."
When watching "I Love You Alice B. Toklas," I am transported back to that very, very different time."
Kiss my ankh!
D. Hartley | Seattle, WA USA | 09/17/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Peter Sellers is actually fairly toned down in his role as an "uptight" Jewish lawyer who decides to join the Counterculture (quite literally, overnight) after ingesting pot brownies and enjoying a roll in the hay with a free-spirited "hippie chick" (radiant Michelle Phillips look-alike Leigh Taylor-Young). Despite the dated Hollywoodized trappings of late-60's psychedelia (including the inevitable Party Scene, although interestingly nobody falls into a swimming pool for a change), Paul Mazursky's script is at its heart a serio-comic tale of one man's mid-life crisis. Sellers fans take heart,there are still some supreme comic moments (a very stoned and giggly Sellers trying to "maintain" as he watches a straight-faced man getting fitted for a minidress is a definite highlight). The film may have inspired a sub-genre of "Middle Aged Guy/Free-Spirited Young Woman" films like "I'll Never Forget What's 'Is Name" and the more dramatic "Petulia". So warm up the VCR and grab a plate of brownies (don't forget the secret ingredient!)"
This Movie Needs To Be Released On DVD!!!
Danny Rizzi | Santa Clara, CA United States | 01/19/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's a very sad state of affairs when a comic artist the caliber of Peter Sellers is not as appreciated as he should be. The man was a genius at playing the uptight middle class doltish kinda guy. And his Harold Fine is the quintessential umcd. I didn't see this film until the late 80's. My brother & I were stoned one night and just laughed our asses off. It was amazing how the film had retained its comic force after 20 years. After viewing it I gave it a few years and wondered if it wasn't just the added effect of the drugs but I saw it again stone cold sober and still lmao. Some of the 60's hippie-era stuff probably hasn't aged well but Sellers can't be denied. I think along with his brilliant triple-shot in Dr. Strangelove this is his best work. The film also benefits from its terrific supporting cast including Jo Van Fleet, Joyce Van Patten & Leigh Taylor Young(giving arguably the best of films many spaced-out hippie portrayals). Hopefully whoever owns the rights will get a clue and have this dvd-released sometime soon but if not I highly recommend the vhs version of this comic gem."