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  Every Girl Should Have One The Hot Rock
Year: 1978
Director: Robert Hyatt
Stars: Zsa Zsa Gabor, John Lazar, Sandra Vacey, Robert Alda, Alice Faye, Herb Vigran, Hannah Dean, Michael Heit, Dan Barrows, Daina House, William Boyett, David Chow, Dorothy Burham, Napoleon Whiting, Hy Pyke, John Doucette, Hans Conried, Kathleen Freeman
Genre: Comedy, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: Aspiring writer Wendy (Sandra Vacey) has moved into this apartment today, and her fiancé Frank (Michael Heit) is assisting her, still needling her about setting the big day for their nuptials, but she tells him she wishes to finish her book first. What he does notice is the apartment next door, where there is an artist living, and he is at work on a painting of a rich woman, Olivia Wayne (Zsa Zsa Gabor), who is wearing her million dollar diamond necklace - jewellery which will be the source of much consternation before long...

This was a modest independent that marked former child star Robert Hyatt's first film as director, and it was telling that he didn't make another one for a while, as this didn't do a tremendous amount of business in its day, and only resurfaces occasionally to distract the unwary who think that a bright and breezy diamond heist caper comedy will be just the tonic to cheer them up. As it plays out, the longer you got into the storyline the more you would become aware that genuinely funny humour, for a start, was thin on the ground, and to follow the thrills were something that would not tax an average TV show episode.

On the subject of television, if this did have a distinction it may be that it apparently foretold one of the behemoths of the eighties schedules Murder She Wrote, as the main character is a writer, and she does get involved in a mystery which to all intents and purposes could have made for an undemanding pilot for a forthcoming series. Star Vacey, who vaguely resembled Doris Day, certainly had that small screen appeal, but for the big screen you needed something more cinematic, or at least a lot funnier and the fact that this ended with a laboured spoof of Jaws - in that it featured talking sharks - served to illustrate the gulf between its ambition and achievement.

However, for cult fans there was a measure of interest in the casting, with Gabor credited as "Guest Star" although she does get quite a bit to do at the beginning and the end of the plot, and blithely delivering the double entendres if not particularly anything that could be described as a character performance as she relied on her own personality to sell them. Then there was John Lazar, an actor forever identified with one role, that of Z-Man in Russ Meyer's Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, which dogged him throughout his career to the extent that he would never really live it down. In this he's a far more straightforward character, and does no better or worse than required as the artist.

Also showing up were more golden oldies, with Alice Faye and Robert Alda acting as if there was nothing reduced about these circumstances in comparison with the kind of thing they had appeared in during their heyday, but even with this star power, faded as it may have been, most of it simply lay limp and uninspired in spite of faintly desperate attempts to be trendy and keep the mood buoyant. These included a lengthy scene in a disco, and if you were anticipating Zsa Zsa strutting her funky stuff then you'd be disappointed, as she doesn't even show up for the equally lengthy party scene, which also features much disco tunes and dancing. In spite of these endeavours to come up with a fun romp, the wit is lacking, and it's hard to imagine anyone seeing this in a cinema thinking they hadn't wasted an evening, but it's adequate as a timewaster otherwise. Music by Johnny Pate.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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