Tom Miller, a talent agent, spends most of nights drowning his
sorrow in booze. Tom hasn’t had much luck as of late, leading him to a life of alcoholism. All that changes when Tom is hired by Fats Murdoch, a former gangster, who is hellbent on making his soon-to-be blond bombshell wife, Jerri Jordan, a singing star. Frank Tashlin’s The Girl Can’t Help It is a love-letter of sorts to the 1950s music scene. Tashlin’s films are always charming and playful and The Girl Can’t Help It is no different, opening with Tom Miller introducing the film to the audience. The music numbers in The Girl Can’t Help It are blended into the narrative, never feeling forced or unnecessary. Considering a large part of the film is spent at various nightclubs everything feels natural, and in that regard, This film is essentially the prototype of what I personally want out of a musical. A big part of this film revolves around the budding romance between Tom Miller and Jerri Jordan. Tashlin develops these characters early and often, making the romance feel genuine. For example through the early part of the film we know Tom is a lost soul, so to speak, yet it is about halfway through the film when we learn his alcoholism is in direct relation to a bad break-up with a former client. One of my favorite sequences of the entire film is when Tom is haunted by the images of his ex, seeing her image all around him every time her song comes on the radio. On the other hand, Jerri is a stereotypical sex-pot who wants nothing more than to live a domesticated life. She is constantly told she is meant for more and nearly every character in the film views her strictly from a sexual perspective, except Tom. Tashlin really understands his characters and when the two begin to actually grow feelings for each other it works perfectly. Make no mistake, The Girl Can’t Help It is a comedic film with Tashlin using a smart screenplay and lots of fun little sight gags, typically revolving around Jerri’s beauity and/or lack of singing ability, to create an enjoyable experience. This film really feels like Tashin’s love letter to 1950s doo-wop type music and maybe the greatest aspect about the film is how much it still rings true today. Just another enjoyable, charming experience from Tashlin.
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