HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Thunderclap
Zeiram
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Kimi
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Promare
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Winterhawk
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
B.N.A.
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Snatchers
Imperial Swordsman
Foxtrap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Private Benjamin It's A Woman's Life In The Army
Year: 1980
Director: Howard Zieff
Stars: Goldie Hawn, Eileen Brennan, Armand Assante, Robert Webber, Sam Wanamaker, Barbara Barrie, Mary Kay Place, Harry Dean Stanton, Albert Brooks, Hal Williams, Toni Kalem, Domita Jo Freeman, Alston Ahern, P.J. Soles, Craig T. Nelson, Richard Herd
Genre: ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: It should have been the happiest day of Judy Benjamin's (Goldie Hawn) life as she got married for the second time to Yale (Albert Brooks), a successful businessman who could provide for her, just what she had wanted ever since she was a little girl. The wedding went well, with much dancing afterwards, and if she wasn't so sure about giving her new husband a blowjob in the back of the limousine while everyone celebrated inside, then it was a small price to pay for a contented marriage. But Yale was more than a little sex mad, and when he insisted on it in the bathroom that night, it was more than his heart could take...

Private Benjamin was a big hit in 1980, but not with everyone, as the establishment tended to see it as a sappy sitcom out of place on the big screen - in spite of the blue humour that did not translate to the resulting, and invevitable, television version the following year. Either that or it was regarded as a recruiting film for the U.S. Army, in spite of how the military is depicted: it was interesting to compare it to the more masculine-oriented Stripes which followed hot on its heels, a film which took a far less ironic look at the forces, and indeed was far less critical of it than anything in the Goldie Hawn movie.

So while Stripes ends with all the misfits standing up for Uncle Sam and giving the Commies what for, Private Benjamin took a different tack, and though they both depicted the soldier's life as an improving experience, here it was another step on the path to independence for Judy. After Yale dies, she is distraught as her big plans fall apart at the seams, but a chance phone call to a radio station at the height of her depression leads her to join up, swallowing all the guff about the sweet time that she would have there from the recruiting sergeant (Harry Dean Stanton). The main joke is, at the beginning at any rate, that Judy has been so pampered that she is a hopeless fit in the army, and Hawn was rarely better cast.

That could have been a lot to do with her being one of the producers, and being well aware of the roles which played to her strengths. Needless to say, she garners some easy laughs from Judy's pathetic attempts to toughen up, and she was well-matched in the actress playing her Captain, Lewis, for she was the great Eileen Brennan, highly amusing in her unimpressed reactions to Benjamin's initial tries at wriggling out of her new job. The first scene they share together, where Judy whines her way through her list of complaints to Lewis's barely comprehending but apparently polite expressions is a gem of comic timing and acting, and the pair build on that tetchy relationship throughout to winning effect.

It's true that the funniest sequences are in the first half, because it is there the cast seem their most comfortable, but the second half is by no means a dead loss. It's just that once Judy falls in love again, it could be any romcom until the final act where she is challenged to ask herself whether what she always wanted is really what is the best for her. The object of her affections is Henri (Armand Assante with an accent), a French one night stand who becomes a lot more when Judy is posted to Paris. The script is too intent on seeing her let down at every turn, so the Army proves corrupt on a petty level that prevents her getting as far as she should, and her love life is the source of much heartache, but Hawn proved such a plucky presence that she carried the plot through its somewhat cruel developments as Judy is forced to stand on her own two feet. It wasn't the best comedy of the eighties, but there was more worth in it than its detractors would have had you believe. Music by Bill Conti.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 5652 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: