I apologize for posting such a lengthy clip-the scene I had on my mind is a couple of minutes in, and until someone gives me a tutorial in excerpting my own DVDs to youtube this'll have to do.
What hasn't already been said of "Some Like It Hot"? Brilliant film; great director, great script, great cast. Take the little musical interlude of Sweet Sue's blondes rehearsing "Running Wild": what particularly strikes me is how such a simple scene manages to be so infectious and feel so totally uncontrived--even though Jack Lemmon is playing a dead ringer for Daffy Duck and Tony Curtis is in the most grotesque drag since...well, perhaps ever.
Even with all the broad, Wilderian goofiness they seem real. They genuinely enjoy their jazz playing, "Sugar"(Marilyn)has a ball shaking the lead vocal and strumming her ukelele, and it all results in making you feel like you're not only sharing the ride on a Florida-bound train in the 1920s, you are a part of the relationship between the characters, however improbable they are.
If there's one thing that doesn't get enough attention in many animated films it's the character relationships. It doesn't matter how they're related--whether on the surface the relationship is what we'd call conventional--what matters is that we really buy that these characters believe in each other. I don't mean "believe in" in a sentimental "I have faith in you" way (not that there's anything wrong with that-that certainly has its place in the right narrative), but rather that one character clearly knows and has real feelings towards another.
This sounds pretty elementary--a no-brainer--but oftimes in the midst of getting the plot moving along, throwing in a gag here or there(or taking one out), and making the nominal plot exciting or whatever the characters can lose their realness. I'm sure everyone has expereinced the sinking feeling in a theater when you disconnect from the characters...and then the action on the screen; the next step is checking your watch and after that--planning where you're going for dinner. Uh-oh.
"Some Like it Hot" has some ludicrous characters in silly, totally implausible situations--but we're with Joe and Jerry all the way. They argue, laugh, get furious and concerned with each other as believably as if they were in an Elia Kazan film, not a farce by Wilder and Diamond....but then, all of Wilder's best films manage to sell some pretty messed-up plots and seriously compromised characters by making the audience empathise with them, like them ,and just plain buy them.
it's been argued that animation filmmakers have their work cut out for them in the casting department: we can't rely on the human face to carry a scene, or the comes-equipped charm of an actress or actor to fill in the subtext; we have to build a real person(or animal)from scratch. But surely Wilder and Diamond had the same problem here: two goofball, skirt-chasing jazz age musician losers, dressed as women for the majority of the film, affecting silly voices and enduring ridiculous circumstances. I think the glue that holds their characters together--including Monroe's--are very clever and suprisingly subtle touches that add up to people we can relate to and believe in. The St. Valentine's Day massacre scene isn't played for laughs in this oh-so-broad comedy, and Lemmon's delivery of the line "I think I'm gonna be sick" after witnessing murder is as straight as if it were part of a hard core film noir. Monroe's Sugar has real poignancy along with her burlesque-style blonde goofiness...again, very careful nurturing of characters.
The film has so much bizarre action, broad characters and great lines that the characters might be presented a fraction as well and everyone would still laugh...but the way it turned out results in a flm that can be watched over and over again without too much fatigue. There's no reason the same can't be true of animated actors.