The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, April 28, 1975, Page page 10, Image 10

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Shampoo has been offered
up as a new-generation,
naughty sex satire on fickle,
modern Southern Californian
(American) mores. It isn't, and
I imagine that a lot of those
who stood out in long lines to
see the picture have come out
more tired than teased.
The movie is entirely pat
and predictable, but it is
turning out to be somewhat of
a phenomenon, probably
because of the myth Warren
Beatty has set up around
Beatty got his start in
movies doing gigolo roles, cf
sorts, and his real-life
bed-hopping is well known,
especially his affair with Julie
Christie. Yet I cherish the
irony of the fact that in his
two best movie roles, in Bonnie
and Clyde and Robert
Alt man's McCabe and Mrs.
Miller (also opposite Julie
Christie) Beatty played
impotent characters.
Here he has no trouble. He
is George, a free-spirited
hairdresser who fools a lot of
people because they think he's
gay. If they only knew. With
y comes clean in 'Shampoo'
his hair dryer as a new phallic
symbol, Beatty spends more
time on his motorcycle than in
bed -but we get the idea..
Dumb-blonde type
Goldie Hawn is wasted as a
dumb-blonde type who thinks
she's Beatty's "steady" and is
highly offended when she
realizes she isn't. Christie is one
of his former lovers who comes
back to kindle whatever real
feeling Beatty has in the movie.
Lee Grant plays his third lover,
a rather middle-aged looking
lady, the wife of a wealthy
businessman (Jack Warden)
from whom Beatty is trying to
get the money, to start his own
hairdressing shop. ,
The movie was produced by
Beatty, after an idea that had
been with him for several -years.
It might look like he's
indulging in his own fantasies
but it's probably closer to
straight autobiography. Hal
Ashby directed but his
influence seems limited. Beatty
wrote the screenplay along
with Hollywood's hottest
screenwriter, Robert Towne
(who did Chinatown and also
teamed up with director Ashby
on 1974's The Last Detail).
The trouble with Shampoo
is that it never goes all the way.
It's really quite tame, with
only a few groans in the
darkness and Beatty mooning
us a couple of times. It is a 60s
light-sex comedy that has
adorned itself with depressing
pretensions. The movie intakes
place on election eve 1968, and
Nixon and Agnew haunt the
background as the film looks
back in masochistic hindsight
at where we were during that
Constant interruptions
The movie is one constant
interruption. When Beatty's
greg lukow
lady friends give him the eye
and request him point blank
for his services, we know
exactly when its coming and
the big break-in scenes, where
girlfriends or husbands arrive
just as Beatty is getting his
pants down, are just as
There was only one scene
that came close to the comic
satire the movie was trying for.
During a Republican election
eve party, a partly drunk and
completely horny Christie
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crawls underneath a table to
perform a well known immoral
act on Beatty. She trys to blah
his blah, as Lenny Bruce would
say, but even that is cut short.
In the end Shampoo fails
because it has no real guts for
its subject and comes up too
tired and shy to reach orgasm.
The film's final shot, witfi a
forlorn Beatty standing on a
hilltop watching Christie leave
with the Jack Warden
character, turns out to be a
very moralizing twist. The
movie, however, pretends to be
chic enough so that it won't
appear that way.
George, in the end, is a
hesitant, insecure and lonely
man who can't seem to get out
of his own way. He reacts,
blank-eyed, to all that goes on
about him and says little more
than "Yeah, that's great."
Ultimately, when his phallic
calling card has been taken
away and the put out to
pasture, the movie wants us to
feel sorry for him. We can't but
I admire Beatty for bringing his
character around so we can
really look at him.
Sorry for him? No, although
actually maybe I envy him
since the only remaining issue
in Shampoo is whether or not
Beatty and Christie were really
doing it.
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Storring Joe Dollesondro
monday, april 28, 1975
page 10
daily ncbraskan