RSS Feed

Tag Archives: Julie Andrews

Victor/Victoria

Posted on
Victor Victoria

Image credit: Victor/Victoria, 1982.

From Breakfast at Tiffany’s, to The Party, to the Pink Panther films, I am devoted to the comic genius of Blake Edwards. The man does party scenes like nobody else, giving us a blend of style and cheekiness that all but defines 1960s cinema. Victor/Victoria (Disc/Download) may fit squarely in the 1980s (blame Robert Preston’s hair), but I still put it alongside those other classic ‘60s gems. It’s got flair, whit, and above all, it pushes boundaries.

Starring Edwards’ wife Julie Andrews as a hungry soprano masquerading as a female impersonator in 1930s Paris, this film broke a lot of social barriers. Mary Poppins playing a woman, playing a man, who’s playing a woman is something I never thought I’d see, but this role was unexpectedly perfect for Andrews. She struts about the nightclub stage with confidence, making her audience forget about pedestrian concepts like gender and sexuality. Svengali/Manager Toddy (a role originally intended for Peter Sellers before his sudden death) provides witty banter and one-liners for days, their friendship serving as the true heart of the movie. Sure, we’re meant to root for love interest James Garner, the Chicago mobster who can’t figure out why he’s in love with a man (until realizing “he’s” a “she”), but by the end I don’t even care if James and Julie run off into the Pre-World War II sunset. I just want her to drink champagne in bed with Toddy forever.

Speaking of champagne, these characters drink a lot of it. There’s even one impressive number done by an acrobat balancing on a champagne bottle (CLASSIC Edwards physical comedy). Let’s join these liberal, sophisticated Parisians by drinking a Shady Dame.

Shady Dame

4 oz champagne

½ oz Lillet Blanc

½ oz Cointreau

½ oz Lemon Juice

Lemon Twist

Combine Lillet, Cointreau, and Lemon Juice in a shaker over ice. Shake until chilled, then strain into a coupe glass. Top with champagne, and a twist of lemon.

Shady Lady

In a lot of ways, this film is a snapshot of “before” (before WWII, before the Nazi occupation of Paris), and yet, also a preview of “after”. After we learn to give up our arbitrary rules regarding gender and sexuality and just let people be who they are. After we say it’s okay for anybody, male, female, or non-binary, to wear flamenco dresses, drink champagne, and laugh. Cheers!

The Sound of Music

Posted on
Image credit 20th Century Fox, 1965, The Sound of Music

Image credit 20th Century Fox, 1965, The Sound of Music

There has been a lot of media attention lately over the 50th anniversary of The Sound of Music (DVD/Download). That’s all the excuse I need to watch Julie Andrews frolic through the Austrian alps with a ragtag group of drapery-wearing children. The Sound of Music is a great film for springtime, and as I drive past fields of Texas bluebonnets, I can’t help wanting to pull over and burst into “The Hills are Alive.” Thankfully, I don’t (you’re welcome, Texas).  Only Julie Andrews and apparently Lady Gaga can pull this off.

The Sound of Music is about a nun-in-training who becomes the governess for a wealthy Austrian family just before WWII. The Von Trapp children lost their mother years ago, and their widowed father is a harsh disciplinarian. Since Julie Andrews is so good at handling precocious wealthy children, she plays the governess Maria. She teaches the kids to have fun, sing, dance, and melt their father’s heart. Captain Von Trapp is played by Christopher Plummer, and his secret attraction to Maria makes him pretty dreamy. Catchy songs by Rogers and Hammerstein make this a fun movie to watch, despite the creepy puppet show about 90 minutes in, and Maria’s heinous outfits. Thank heavens Captain Von Trapp briefly dates someone with style, the Baroness Schraeder. She gets a bad rap, wanting to send the kids to boarding school, but I actually really love this character. She wears gorgeous clothes, hosts fabulous parties, gets to date Captain Von Trapp, and is terrible at sports. A lady after my own heart.

We first meet The Baroness when she arrives in Salzburg with “Uncle Max”. He is the original cool uncle, and certainly no stranger to a cocktail. Unfortunately his good times are shattered when The Baroness serves him pink lemonade on the veranda. Just… lemonade. Max deserves better, so in his honor, while watching The Sound of Music, I recommend drinking a Pink Parasol.

Pink Parasol

2 oz Pink Lemonade

2 oz Deep Eddy Lemon Vodka

Club Soda

Build drink over ice, stirring gently before topping with club soda. Garnish with a pink parasol. I wonder if Marta ever got hers??

pink parasol

It’s hard to pick a favorite song in this stellar musical. “My Favorite Things”? “Edelweiss”?? “Sixteen Going on Seventeen”??? GAH- there are so many!! This movie makes me want to go to Salzburg and celebrate them all. Except the creepy puppet song- I can skip the yodeling.  Cheers!