valley of the dolls

Valley of the Dolls

A short review of the film: I wondered beforehand, if Valley of the Dolls would be entertaining-bad or boring-bad, and it seemed to be both at times. (Warning: contains spoilers.)

It should be mentioned that "Dolls" means in this context red "pep" pills our three heroines popped like they were candy. So that doesn't mean Raggedy Ann or Barbie here. (But I guess that's what the kids' heroes are like today -- "When I grow up, I want to go to the Betty Ford Clinic".)

There were some great moments such as the tasteless decorations with glaring colours and some 60's pop-style montages with coloured filters; also various ultra-hilarious scenes of unintentional humour (especially the scene of Neely and Tony in sanitarium nearly killed me, when they have a musical-style singing duet -- even if Tony is normally a paralysed comatose in his wheelchair). Sometimes it felt like an unintentional parody, though it was obvious it wasn't meant so.

Sharon Tate was astonishing -- to look at, but not much else (R.I.P., anyway).
Barbara Parkins (the only girl to survive in the end and to go back to Ma to Smalltown, USA) was a neat 60's-style Barbie-doll, like her role always was in Peyton Place, but that's about it. The ultimate horror was Patty Duke, though, with her high-pitched-meets-chalk-screeching-on-blackboard helium voice -- is she for real? And she sang too!

There were a lot of boring parts, too. The acting was unbelievably pedestrian and dialogue totally dull; all the male characters were bland beyond belief. Many times it seemed like a 50's movie, old-fashioned even for its time; with its dated musical scenes and the horrors and back-stabbing world of show business, where people fall in alcohol and drugs (à la The Star Is Born), etc., with a pretentious morale in the end, how else.

Well, if you ever check this film, see it with some friends or in a crowd, and preferably with a couple of beers, so you'll get most fun out of it.


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