The Seven Year Itch is probably most well-known for the iconic image of Marilyn Monroe over the subway grate but the movie itself is also a great watch.
The Seven Year Itch is my second Billy Wilder and Marilyn Monroe movie this year (the first was Some Like It Hot) and while the two films are similar in some ways they each have distinct feels. Seven Year Itch has a much zanier air about it but both movies are quite funny. Monroe’s acting is more focused in this as well.
The movie is about Richard Sherman (Tom Ewell), a married man with an overactive imagination whose wife goes away for the summer with their son. He then meets his neighbor, The Girl, (Marilyn Monroe) and wants to seduce her. The title phrase refers to the waning attention of a man after seven years in a monogamous relationship. As the movie progresses Sherman fantasizes about The Girl and they spend a lot of time together but his imagination and nerves end up getting the best of him.
Apparently this was originally a Broadway play that Ewell was reprising his role for. Most of the movie occurs in his apartment, so that makes sense. He also spends a lot of time talking to himself as a sort of narration. My wife commented that it feels a lot like A Christmas Story, where the adult Ralphie is narrating the actions of his younger self.
Billy Wilder’s movies are essential viewing as far as I’m concerned. The Seven Year Itch isn’t his strongest work, but it is iconic. Some of the comedy is a bit silly and even a bit dated, perhaps, but the film has held up quite well overall.
I give it 4 stairs to nowhere out of 5.