The Driver's Seat

1974 dreamy drama

Rating: 12/20

Plot: A woman travels to Italy with a very specific goal in mind.

My brother recommended this one, not regarded as one of Elizabeth Taylor's best movies. Her nipples do make an appearance if you have any interest in seeing that. I didn't know I did until it was happening, and now I feel as if my life has changed. It's like my life can be divided in two clear parts now--the time before I saw Elizabeth Taylor's nipples and the time after I saw them.

I just had a feeling while typing the paragraph above that I have seen Elizabeth Taylor naked before, but I don't want to spend too much time researching that just in case my wife decides to check my Google history again. I remember somebody's buttocks pretending to be Taylor's buttocks in Reflections in a Golden Eye, but I really don't know if I've seen her nipples. It makes my claim above that my life has somehow been changed seem even more ridiculous.

This is almost a really good movie. An intriguing twist that tied all of the nonsense together was fun even if it left quite a few loose threads. The structure of the mystery, in which we meet various characters she interacts with and then see them in an after-the-fact time being questioned about Elizabeth Taylor's enigmatic character, keeps things interesting. And there are quite a few shots that I really liked, including the opening scene right before those nipples make an appearance with all these mannequins in various states of undress. Apparently, I have a thing for mannequins.

Actually, there's no "apparently" there. I most definitely have a thing for mannequins. It's why I'm no longer allowed in a J.C. Penney store.

The movie's also got this haze, almost like you're watching parts of it through a thin, barely-perceptible layer of 1970's gauze. That definitely could have just been the result of watching this on Youtube, but I thought it added to the dreamlike mood I believe director Giuseppe Patroni Griffi was going for. It has, for better or for worse, a feel and pace that fans of 70's Italian dramas will likely be comfortable with, but I did get a little bored at times. It was boredom mixed with frustration as you really have no way of of knowing what's even going on most of the time. That kind of ambiguity can work well in a movie, but here, it's a lazy ambiguity. With Taylor's character not really being all that well developed, there's just not much to latch onto here.

My favorite things--well, not related to nipples or mannequins--in this movie, also apparently called Identikit, were the wacky performance of one of the randy guys she encounters and a great line in an otherwise weirdly-penned screenplay. That line--"When I diet, I diet. And when I orgasm, I orgasm. I don't believe in mixing the two cultures."--should probably be used as the verbose title of a perverse cookbook.

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