Hey, Lady, is this your horse?
Live a Little, Love a Little has always been one of my favorite Elvis movies. I love all things Elvis – the music, the movies, and the larger than life personality – but, let’s be honest, some of his movies were, shall we say, so cheesy only a mouse could enjoy them. A few (such as my own personal LEAST favorite Kissin’ Cousins) were almost painful to watch. You know, Kissin’ Cousins may have been written by a mouse. After a three day cheese binge. While on the brink of a coma.
Scratch that, he would have come up with a better script.
Even Elvis, a few times, seemed embarrassed to be in a couple of his movies. During Kissin’ Cousins, I’d swear he looks apologetically at the camera as if to say, “Fans, I’m sorry for this. Really. I’m sorry.”
As a fan of the King, I LOVE to see one of his movies that deserves to carry his name. Live a Little, Love a Little (1968) is just such a movie. It’s fun, feisty, sexy, and spirited. It’s also well-written with more than a few “laugh out loud” lines and moments. One of my favorite is when Greg walks into the office of a Girlie magazine. The secretary is, as you’d expect, half-dressed (in a cat-like costume). Greg says, “Aren’t you cold,” to which the secretary purrs, “Only from 9 to 5.”
Even the wacko dream sequence got my seal of approval. Bernice had driven poor Greg half-crazy so an outrageous, over-the-top dream was all but called for. It was kinda cute in a “what the heck is going on here” kind of way.
Elvis plays photographer Greg Nolan. He quickly becomes the complete fixation and fascination of adorable Michele Carey’s character (Bernice). Bernice changes her name to fit her mood and actually introduces herself to Elvis as Alice. There’s nothing about Michele Carey’s performance or character in this movie that I don’t love. The wardrobe, alone, is a feast for the eyes. Such cute clothes! In fact, all the clothes (as well as the cars and furniture) are almost as entertaining as the movie, itself. What a colorful, outrageous, and kind of loud decade the 60s were!
Oh, Greg. How can you be so controvertical?
Another beautiful scene stealer in Live a Little, Love a Little was the gorgeous Great Dane Albert. This is pretty cool: Albert was played by Elvis’ own dog Brutus. Each time I see this movie, I want a Great Dane – but my cats always convince me otherwise.
The entire cast is dead on perfect in this movie, and Michele Carey may be my favorite of ALL of Elvis’ leading ladies. She was MADE for a movie such as this and, in all actuality, steals the movie right out from under Elvis Presley as well as Dick Sargent, who plays Bernice’s ex, Harry. Dick Sargent’s Harry was adorable in Live a Little, Love a Little. It was refreshing to see him happy – as Darren #2 on Bewitched he was always scowling and grumpy. He wears happy so much better.
Live a Little, Love a Little was directed by Norman Taurog. This would be his last film. At least he ended on a great one. Taurog also directed Elvis in G.I. Joe Blues, Blue Hawaii, Girls! Girls! Girls!, Speedway, Double Trouble, Spinout, and Tickle Me.
Live a Little, Love a Little was based on the novel “Kiss My Firm, But Pliant Lips” by Dan Greenburg. Fortunately the name was changed.
All Elvis fans HAVE to make sure they have Live a Little, Love a Little in their movie collection. If you click the link, you can actually buy it on Amazon for less than $5.00.