Desperate Times, desperate measures
Some Like it Hot by Billy Wilder is a classic comedy that Marilyn Monroe loved. The comedy has been adapted into many others, one of them being White Chicks, which was created by the Wayans brother. Two musicians, Joe and Jerry, work in a speakeasy. Joe and Jerry work with the Spats mafioso. Toothpick Charlie is an informant, which prompts Joe to attempt to escape with a band in need of their musical talent. They decide to take the small gig after finding a girl-only band and performing arts venue a few miles away. Spats is vengeful for Toothpick Charlie, and they decide to go on their way. Spats spots them and decides they should be killed. Joe and Jerry manage to escape but are caught by Spats, who decides to disguise themselves as women and accept the job in the all-girls band. They know Spats will find them. Joe and Jerry take a train to Miami from Chicago, disguised as Josephine and Daphne the bull fiddle and sax players. Jerry soon realizes that Geraldine is not the right name. Sugar falls in love with them both once they board. Jerry/Daphne is the one to blame for Sugar’s loss of his flask. This makes them good friends. Jerry/Daphne then drinks with Sugar. But the other girls find out about it and soon become a group affair. Sugar gets lost in all the chaos, so Joe/Josephine has a chat with her. They have become friendly, but both must keep in mind that they are “women” who cannot make advances upon Sugar. Osgood, a millionaire, follows Jerry/Daphne as they arrive in Miami. Joe steals Bienstock, a male band manager,’s luggage. He disguises himself as Junior, the heir of Shell Oil. He uses this disguise to meet Sugar. They decide to go on a date in “Junior’s” yacht. This yacht is actually Osgood’s, and Daphne/Jerry takes Osgood on to the land. These two have a great night dancing, and it gets hot between Sugar/Junior. Jerry, Osgood and Joe mention the good times and the possibility of a marriage. Spats, his gang and other criminals are visiting town. They are immediately recognized and must make a swift escape. Sugar is called Junior and tells her that they must travel to South America. Joe and Jerry try to escape but are pursued by more mafia officers. They see Spats being killed and chased. Sugar sings a melancholy song in which Joe, dressed as Josephine, kisses Sugar one last time. Osgood intervenes and agrees that Joe and Jerry will be taken to the yacht for an elopement with “Daphne”. Sugar appears at the last moment, realizing Josephine’s identity as Junior and Junior being Joe. Jerry convinces Osgood that he shouldn’t marry Jerry, as the couple confess and kiss. It ends with Osgood learning that Jerry is a woman and telling him that “Nobody is perfect”. White Chicks is inspired by Some Like it Hot. It opens with the FBI agents Kevin, Marcus and their disguised attempt to catch a drug peddler. Kevin and Marcus pretend that cocaine is ice cream, but their superiors chew them out when they capture the real ice-cream man. They are informed by their chief that they have to be under strict control, but they are allowed to transport the Wilson sisters from the Hamptons. FBI agents are investigating the possibility that the Wilson sisters will be next kidnapped. Brittany Wilson and Tiffany Wilson were also in the car accident that left Kevin and Marcus with minor injuries. While they aren’t too stressed out, the girls refuses to leave their hotel. Kevin and Marcus know this is going to be their last assignment. Therefore, they dress up as the girls to go. Brittany (Kevin) and Tiffany (Marcus) meet Tiffany and Brittany’s friends. They ask questions but think they’ve just had surgery. They also meet Heather Vandergeld (equally-wealthy) and their Wilson sister, Marcus. Latrell Spencer is a basketball player and begins to look for Tiffany/Marcus. Kevin, however, takes an interest in Denise. Kevin convinces Marcus to meet Latrell while Denise swipes her keys and goes to Latrell’s house.
Denise divulges some details about Marcus’s main suspect and he continues on his date. Marcus calls Kevin to request Latrell’s keys and car back. Kevin reluctantly agrees. The girls dress up for a nightclub and head out with Marcus, Kevin, and Megan. The Vandergelds beat them to the punch by Kevin/Brittany and Marcus/Tiffany. Heather’s boyfriend Heath hopes that one of their friends will notice the victory. However, it is not to be. Marcus and Kevin receive consoling news from Marcus and Kevin. Marcus learns that the Vandergelds actually are broke. The situation looks promising for the two but then they get bad news. The real Wilson sisters hear about their adventures in Hamptons and suspect someone is impersonating them. Harper and Gomez of the FBI search Kevin, Marcus’s home and locate their girl masks. As soon as the Wilson sisters arrive, they stop them and take their clothes off in order to prove they are men. Gomez is fired and Harper is dismissed after stripping the Wilson sisters. Marcus and Kevin are seen by the chief, who finds Kevin dressed as a man. Marcus’s spouse was there just a few minutes ago. Marcus is also fired from his job. They discover who the real culprit is – Warren Vandergeld (and Heath, Heather’s boyfriend). The fashion show continues, and the Wilson sisters are mixed up with Marcus and Kevin. Vandergeld starts the kidnapping, after Vandergeld reveals that Vandergeld is a fake. He realizes that Marcus is actually the real Tiffany and he stops him. Latrell saves Tiffany while Kevin saves Denise. Vandergeld’s crew is apprehended. Denise gives Kevin a second chance. Latrell is sad that Marcus isn’t of white skin. The girls make plans to meet Marcus and Kevin.
Some Like it Hot has a stellar cast, including Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon. Monroe brings a new dimension to the stereotype about the “dumbblonde”, making it feel like she is actually Sugar. Monroe’s character is more than one dimension because she seamlessly transitioned from Sugar’s infatuation for Junior to her stunning singing voice. Tony Curtis, who played the lead role, was great and had great chemistry alongside Lemmon. Curtis’ scene with Jerry where Curtis is Joe telling Jerry that he’s still a girl makes it appear that they were lifelong friends. Lemmon was rightly nominated to win the Best Actor Oscar. He brings the character alive, particularly in the 180 that he does before he/she goes on their date. Lemmon’s sighful reluctance to dance with Jerry is well portrayed by him. Lemmon’s performance only gets better when he reminisces on the great times he had dancing and with Osgood. White Chicks is all about chemistry. The Wayans brothers, Terry Crews or Frankie Faison are not A-list performers. However, everyone seems to get along really well. Shawn Wayans and Marlon Howans are known for their humor. Both Maitl, Ward and Anna Dudek, the true Wilson sisters, complimented each other very well. Terry Crews was the standout performer. His intimidating physique and his natural goofiness made him a hilarious character. White Chicks can be compared to Some Like it Hot in many ways. The latter is clearly influenced by the former. Both Some Like it Hot as White Chicks are full of humor that is truly hilarious. The characters find themselves in absurd situations, which makes it fresh and funny. White Chicks humor is more racial. It is constantly referring to the fact, “hey we’re guys dressed up as ladies” which is kinda cheap. Terry Crews’ singing of “A Thousand Miles”, one of White Chicks’ most memorable scenes, is why it is so funny. Terry Crews uses Terry Crews’ situation to his advantage and Terry Crews can be hilarious.
White Chicks and Some Like It Hot share similar themes.
Both films show two friends who find themselves in difficult situations. They make it better and develop relationships they never imagined. This is the escape from mafia life and meeting Sugar and Osgood. White Chicks features Kevin and Denise. Marcus renews their relationship with Gina. The two become close friends and make new friends. The traditional roles of men are reversed. They are forced to pretend they are something they are not in order to achieve something. Mulan would have been proud. The overarching theme concerns the removal of gender stereotypes and the potential benefits.
White Chicks shows its influences proudly. The movies are identical in numerous ways. They are outlandish comedy about a buddy couple that humorously deals with semi-controversial themes of gender/racial egalit, expectations (and surpassing them), as well as sex. Both use crime to tell their stories, but one is trying desperately to avoid it and the other is trying hard. The similarities are much more obvious than the differences. White Chicks emphasizes the racial and genderbending aspects. White Chicks focuses on the situations the characters find themselves in, but Some Like It Hot is a better film. How amusing is it to tell a joke over and again?
Both Some Like it Hots and White Chicks have a lot of laughs. Both films can be recommended to high school students and those over 50. Some Like it Hot is full of subtleties that younger people might not catch. White Chicks, on the other hand, is very crude. Each film was rated PG-13, which is a good thing. Both films are semi-mature, and White Chicks are vulgar about them. Some jokes fall flat, but others stand the test. Both comedies are well worth a viewing. White Chicks has more humor, while Some Like it Hot makes for a better film overall. Both will still make you giggle.