There isn’t one second of this movie I don’t love. On the surface, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (dir. Howard Hawks) might seem slightly dated these days but, in reality, it’s actually quite subversive in a rather subtle way. Yes, Dorothy (Jane Russell) and Lorelei (Marilyn Monroe) are man-hungry and money-obsessed, respectively, but they’re both highly intelligent, extremelly witty and their friendship is one of the greatest relationships ever in film. In what can be described as a rather simple and somewhat old-fashioned plot, the showgirls and best friends travel to Paris on a cruise ship looking for love, money, sex and diamonds, and while that might seem quite silly, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is utterly funny, sweet and adorable, not to mention understatedly progressive.
In one of the movie’s many, MANY funny moments, Lorelei meets Piggy Beekman, the owner of a diamond mine, played by the always wonderful Charles Coburn, and immediately begins flirting with him, due to his wealth. When his wife Lady Beekman (Norma Varden) arrives, she shows Lorelei her tiara, which she always carries in her purse, because she’s ‘afraid to leave it in the stateroom’. ‘And you’re not afraid to show it to Lorelei?’, Dorothy replies, in her usual way. Lorelei asks to hold the tiara and tries putting it around her neck. She’s baffled when Dorothy says it goes on her head, and when Lady Beekman tells her that that is indeed how you wear it, Lorelei puts it on and replies ‘I just love finding new places to wear diamonds!’.
I love this little scene, so simple and yet so funny. And I especially love Dorothy’s quips, which are a standout throughout the film. The contrast between the two friends is one of the things that make their friendship so loving and strong. No matter what happens, they’re always there for each other, and while they spend most of the time talking about men – kind of inevitable given the plot – you can tell they care deeply about one another. BFF goals.