The book Sex and The Single Girl by Helen Gurley Brown is all about how to be a single girl and make it on a budget. Sort of a Sex and The City of its time. How to be a working girl, meet men, dress, wear make up and that it is ok for a nice girl to have sex. That was the revolutionary part of the book.
I loved the movie Sex and The Single Girl because I love the cast, Natalie Wood, Tony Curtis, Henry Fonda, Mel Ferrer and Lauren Bacall. They are all wonderful actors and they are supported by some of the best characters actors of the time. It is a fun, silly movie. They talk about sex but it certainly is a movie of its time. If you want to watch it to be entertained by a comic romp with a bit of discussion if a good working girl has sex or not then this is the film for you.
If you want to watch the movie because you want an idea of what the book is about, then the movie will not help you at all. They do touch upon the several subjects in the book. How to make yourself beautiful and happy. How to buy things for yourself. Do you have sex with a married man(the answer in the movie is no of course.)? If a girl should have sex and if a girl should get married because it is the thing to do? These interesting questions are glossed over but not really, they are really throw away lines.
There is also a really funny sight gag of Helen’s secretary reading her book and her own look changes as the movie goes on. But really the movie is just sex romp, with a lot of misunderstandings and sight gags. And at the end there is a very funny chase at the end. (Watch out of for the great Larry Storch as a traffic cop at the end of the film.)
I was a teen in the 70’s and I loved this movie so when I found the book at a used book store with Natalie Wood’s picture on the cover on it I bought it. (Back in the day there was a lot used book stores and there was also stalls at flea markets full of books. I was able to find a lot of classic books that way and I miss them.) So I brought it home and I read it. I was a little shocked that Helen Gurley Brown was not psychologist as she was in the movie. She was a magazine writer/editor and publisher. This was her how to book for girls of that time and I found then as a 16-year-old that it was really outdated. Even the make up and clothing section of the book was very outdated. It was interesting but I was really disappointed, I also expected it to have a bit more wit then it did, it is a bit dry and her humor was not mine. Sadly, because I was not of the time it was just not for me.
I kept it of course because it has a beautiful picture of Natalie Wood on the cover. And I truly loved the movie. It is such fun. If you want a really fun sexy romp with beautiful clothes and beautiful people who are very talented and funny, then this the movie for you. If you want a serious of discussion of sex in the 60’s then this is not the movie for you. Simple as that 🙂
Till next time…