“Shampoo”video79
Directed by Hal Ashby
Columbia Pictures (1975)
109 minutes

 

by Tammy Wanchena and Kevin Kocur

Tammy Sez:
November 1968. A leap year. In one of the closest elections in U.S. History, Richard M. Nixon defeats Hubert Humphrey and George C. Wallace to become one of the most glorified presidents of all time (in Masquerade shops). Great leaders were born such as Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Owen Wilson and baseball’s Sammy Sosa. Apollo 8 reached the far side of the moon and saw Planet Earth as a whole for the first time ever. And Warren Beatty got laid.

It is rumored that Carly Simon’s hit “You’re So Vain” was written about Warren Beatty. Well if you’ve seen “Shampoo”, you could not begrudge this man his vanity. Donning tight bellbottom pants, muscle shirts, cowboy boots and an ascot, his hair dryer tucked in his pants like a gun in its holster, Warren Beatty seduces all of Los Angeles. Entering a new dimension in motorcyclists’ portrayal in the movies, 1968 offers us the Triumph riding, hairstylist gigolo. My faith in films has been restored. And does this biker know hair? Well, if you have seen this film or a poster from it, you will know that hair does not get much bigger than Warren’s hair in this film. The white man’s Afro is full and luxurious with feathers and waves. A family of rabbits could nest beneath it and he would be none the wiser. Sex appeal is at an all time high here.

Julie Christie, Goldie Hawn, Carrie Fischer, and a bunch of other big haired socialites are charmed into Warren’s pants, most falling madly in love with him. Warren states he “doesn’t sleep with anybody for money, just for fun”. However, he hits up Jack Warden for money to open his own salon while he is sleeping with Jack’s wife, his mistress, and his daughter. Sounds exciting I know, but this movie was total Snooze Ville. Had it not been for Kevin’s witty rapport about the household pets and my glassful of hard liquor, I would have turned it off quicker than Warren Beatty turned me off.

“Wicked social satire set against the back drop of the 1968 Election.” This is the most commonly used description for “Shampoo”. “Wicked” perhaps. A lot of broken hearts due to Beatty’s philandering. “Social Satire”, no way! And implying the election was relevant to this movie in any way, shape, or form is beyond me. “Shampoo” was created for women who like to look at big haired men in tight pants and for men who like to see Goldie Hawn wear short shirts for dresses. You could make a drinking game out of how many times you see the tease of her ass cheek or her little kid panties. We might of if Kevin hadn’t been sipping Miller Lites and belching like a trucker all night!

Kevin Sez:
I had a dream there were clouds in my coffee, clouds in my coffee….

And then I woke up. Yup, dozed off again watching this snoozer. And I need to bring my own beer next time.

So Warren’s out cruising on his Triumph Tiger and searching for tail again, you say? Didn’t he just do that in the last scene? Who’s house is he at now? I can’t tell. You need a scorecard to keep track of them all. I do think he may have been reading the directions on a shampoo bottle and misinterpreted them to be “Schmooze, Get Laid, Repeat.”

Seeing all the action Warren’s getting, one can’t help but think that Triumph sales may have gone up just a little after the release of this film, especially the scenes of him “flat-tracking” the Triumph through Beverly Hills (in stylish platform boots!) If only motorcycle manufacturers had the foresight to use this type of advertising to sell bikes: “Ride a motorcycle! Get laid”! Certainly more entertaining then watching Viagra and Cialis commercials today.

I did like the period clothes. Warren’s looking his best at a black tie affair wearing black tux, frilly frilly white shirt and bat-like bow tie! Sassy! In a later scene, the jacket and tie are gone and somehow half of the shirt buttons are undone. All I could think of was that he, standing in his frilly shirt, looked like a pirate! Yar!

I could go on and on about Warren, but I’ll bet he thinks this review is about him.

M.M.M.

 

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