Are you sad that Roger Ebert is sick? I am, especially since I've been enjoying Fox's spectacular new DVD release of Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, co-written by Ebert and quite possibly the greatest sex comedy ever made, and that includes anything by Fellini.
Don't make the mistake of thinking that BVD (as its fans call it) is a guilty pleasure or "so bad it's good." Quite the opposite: BVD is so good it's great. Every shot is composed like architecture, every color pops, every performance is spot-on and every line is intentionally hilarious. The montage sequences alone will leave you breathless, and there isn't a supporting hairdo, costume or bustline which doesn't add to the fun. Ebert and director Russ Meyer pulled out all the stops to make the most cutting yet most enjoyable Hollywood satire ever.
Kudos, also, to the folks at Fox who, after being embarrassed by BVD for 35 years, finally wised up, realized they had a neglected masterpiece in their vaults, and went the extra mile to give the film the "special edition" treatment it so richly deserves. The print, in glorious widescreen technicolor, is absolutely flawless, as is the sound. The extras are all a lot of fun, and it's great to see Ebert and the rest crow proudly about this awesome work of art.
So forget barbeques, flag-themed sportswear and lame parades; get down to the video store this 4th of July, stay inside in the dark and enjoy what really makes this a great country.
And get well soon, Roger!
EDIT: Re-reading this post, I can't believe that I didn't even mention how great the music in it is, or that the line "This is my happening and it freaks me out" was stolen from it for Austin Powers. Honestly, I could write thousands more words about why this is one of the greatest masterpieces of 20th Century art. And I'm not being cutesy or ironic. Just trust me, OK? That's really gettin' it together!