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Shampoo (1975)

Shampoo. Feature film. (1975, 109 mins) IMDB

...no do-overs in life...

W

arren Beatty plays George, a pretty-boy hairdresser in Hollywood. Not only is George not gay, he's a womanizer who will jump into bed with just about any women. Hell, he'll jump out of one bed to jump into another. He's completely flighty and irresponsible. A bachelor forever.

His girlfriend is Jill (Hawn). She's in love with him and is too stupid or naive to see what's going on. At the end of the second Act, she finds him screwing Jackie (Christie), her best friend and his former lover. The shades are off Jill's eyes and the relationship is over. Jill moves on.

Jackie is a kept woman. She'd be with George if he wasn't so irresponsible. She didn't want to wait while George grew up. Her lover and keeper is Lester (Jack Warden). He's older and loaded with money, but he's also married to Felica (Grant). Their marriage is dying. Felica has George do her hair and her plumping.

At a dinner banquet to watch the presidential results (Nixon in 1968), all the couples come together in the same room and all the relationships are torn at the seams.

Felcia wants a divorce.

By the end of the movie, George has learnt the errors of his ways, realizes he's in love with Jackie and asks her to marry him. The problem is, since Lester left his wife, he's free to marry Jackie. She said yes and they plan a trip to Mexico.

You'd wouldn't think Warden would end up with the girl and not Beatty, but that is precisely want happens. From a Hollywood hill, George looks down as a Bentley (or Rolls Royce) pulls out of Jackie's drive way and down a long road toward the airport. Inside is Lester and Jackie and her luggage. As the camera tracks the car over the shoulder of Beatty, the anticipation grows. When will we see the glow of break lights?, but they never come. The car disappears into the distance, cut to black and the movie is over.

Sometimes we realize what we have when it's too late.

Posted 2009/03/30 at 20h07ET in Movie Commentary.

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