Picks and Pans Review: S.o.b.
In 1970 Blake Edwards starred his wife, Julie Andrews, in Darling Lili, which went way over budget and didn’t enhance Edwards’ reputation among Hollywood money men. He eventually climbed back to favor with the Pink Panther series and ” 10,” but he obviously stayed angry. S.O.B. is a poison pen letter to the industry, a film of undisguised hatred. Edwards’ sense of the funny has sunk to sour insults, with ugly characters like a transvestite studio head (Robert Vaughn), a lesbian agent (Shelley Winters) and a back-stabbing columnist (Loretta Swit). The movie’s only redeeming feature is the acting. Robert Preston is a raffish delight as a Malibu quack with a drug connection, William Holden plays an aging director with a penchant for teenagers, and Larry Hagman is the epitome of yes-man sleaze. Fine, too, is Richard Mulligan as the Edwards figure, a producer driven mad by the rejection of his $40 million family musical. He labors to turn his G-rated project into a porn triumph, and the scene where Mulligan tries to convince his prissy mate (Julie Andrews) to bare her breasts is a howl. Julie has rarely thrown herself into a role with such abandon. “I’m going to show my boobies,” she asserts, and does so. For the record, they’re lovely. The film is not. (R)