Director: Blake Edwards
Publisher: Orion Pictures Corporation
Critic rating: 4
Anyone that was a child in the 70's/80's (or older), remembers Blake Edwards's comedy 10 chiefly for two reasons: the first being a beaded-hair Bo Derek's slow-motion jog through the surf, and the second being she and Dudley Moore's comedic love scene set to Ravel's Bolero. A return to this movie after many, many years of it living in memory will yield a good number of surprises, and perhaps add a few more memories about a film overshadowed by its own iconography.
Dudley Moore is George Webber, a successful songwriter with a songstress girlfriend (Edwards regular, and wife, Julie Andrews - natch) and a good life in the Hollywood Hills. Alas, after his 42nd birthday Webber's life starts to feel incomplete and he's soon in an often slapstick tailspin of a mid-life crisis that includes eying every young girl that crosses his path and peering into his neighbors' homes with a telescope. Soon, however, he becomes fixated on Bo Derek as Jenny, a young, gorgeous woman he first sees on the day of her wedding. Webber's fascination with Jenny finds him traveling all the way to Mexico to follow her, and by total chance, the man gets exactly what he wants.
10's neatest trick is that it takes George, who is a pretty unlikable sot on paper, and actually makes him someone we root for. Partly it's because the story makes him a perpetual underdog, but what makes George Webber most likable is Dudley Moore who here, much as he was in Arthur is small, goofy and sweet. He just seems so harmless that it's hard to fault him for his selfish, somewhat reckless behavior.
And then, of course, there's Bo Derek, an actress that at the time was the absolute pinnacle of physical perfection - so much so that she could actually take your attention away from her ridiculous cornrows with just her smile and her... um... "eyes." The slow-motion jogging scene and the love scene are still fun and spicy, but most will probably remember both being a bit more titillating than they actually are.
The movie is also populated by a terrific cast of supporting actors including Sam (Flash Gordon) Jones, James Noble (the governor from TV's Benson), recognizable character actor Don Calfa, and most notably the great Brain Dennehy who is cast-against-type and terrific as a nice-guy bartender. Also making an appearance is 80's icon Dee Wallace Stone (who flashes the tiniest bit of skin after an interlude with Moore's character), and trivia buffs will enjoy trying to spot several former porn stars who populate the various orgies happening across the way at Webber's neighbor's house; namely Constance Money, Annette Haven and Dorothy Lemay.
So is 10 still sexy? Yes, in some ways. But in the many intervening years filled with much more explicit cinematic moments, it feels almost chaste with its nudity and suggestiveness. All that aside, however, Bo Derek is still - and likely will always be - a 10.
Video clips from this movie
February 11th, 2011