What’s New Pussycat?

What’s New Pussycat? (1965)

Michael James (Peter O’Toole) has got it rough. Beautiful women throw themselves at him, and despite being engaged he doesn’t have the strength to say no. His therapist Fritz Fassbender (Peter Sellers in his funniest role ever) isn’t helping, in fact he’s started following Michael hoping for leftovers! Another so-called friend (Woody Allen, who based the script on the hectic love life of Warren Beatty) is hoping Michael will fail so he can have a chance with his adorable broken-hearted fiancée (Romy Schneider).

There’s no shortage of lovely women! Paula Prentiss is a crazy stripper who writes political poetry and overdoses on pills each time Micheal tries to end their affair. Harder to resist is the sublime Capuccine, a sophisticated sex-addict from Fassbender’s group therapy. By the time nymphomaniac Ursula Andress parachutes directly into Micheal’s car the laughs are coming so fast your face hurts.

Like Casino Royale two years later, there isn’t much plot (or maybe there’s too much plot), and rapid fire comedy flies from all corners. A swinging score by Burt Bacharach sets off a series of exquisite Parisian art nouveau locations, climaxing at an off-season chateau where all players converge in an out of kilter farce of escalating chase scenes. Throw in a transvestite, a Valkyrie, a terrorist, a jealous husband, and Michael’s future in-laws racing across the French countryside in stolen gocarts.