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Goldie Hawn Retrospective

Goldie Hawn Retrospective

The one and only bubbly, lively, wide-eyed actress, producer and occasional singer, Goldie Jeanne Hawn, is back on the big screen. After a fifteen year absence, she returns in new risque adults-only comedy adventure, ‘Snatched’, starring alongside controversial comedienne ‘it girl’ Amy Schumer.

The real life Golden Girl plays straight-laced ultra cautious mum Linda who decides to join her recently jilted daughter Emily on a literally wild and exotic vacation. They end up in a remote part of a tropical island trying to survive without the luxuries of home.

This duo of decades apart generational comical darlings are a good team for this fish out of water opposites have to work together scenario where logic goes out the window in the name of humour. When things go sour, Goldie lets rip with classic quips and it’s great!

She recently received a long overdue Hollywood walk-of-fame-star but was last seen cinematically in mostly dismissed 2002 comedy The Banger Sisters, with Susan Sarandon and Australia’s own Geoffrey Rush.

Her husband Kurt Russell has never really gone away and has been enjoying a certain blockbuster renaissance in recent times. Daughter Kate Hudson keeps popping up in quality movies looking more like a younger version of her mother every time.

Goldie may have been missing on screen of late but has certainly never been forgotten – a fan favourite ever since first making an Oscar winning impact for Cactus Flower (1969). Legendary director Steven Spielberg was impressed by the bouncy newcomer in ‘There’s a Girl in my Soup’ (1971) so put her in the lead of his early hit action-comedy, ‘Sugarland Express’ (1974).

A scantily clad Goldie lounged inside a giant champagne glass on the cover of Playboy magazine in conjunction with her two current massive box office hits, teaming up with Chevy Chase in detective romance ‘Foul Play’, and getting comfortable in ‘Shampoo’ (1975). Tame in comparison to today, this sexy social satire in moral standards with co-stars Carrie Fisher and Warren Beatty was controversial in its time and really got this pint-sized blonde into serious limelight.

1980 brought on a top notch defining performance for which people still refer to as one of her absolute best in the unforgettable, ‘Private Benjamin’. The classic story of rich girl enlisting in Army basic training is still terrific fun that garnered her a second Academy Award nomination.

Burt Reynolds was her conflicted screenwriter lover in ‘Best Friends’ (1982) and she went to Washington in political fluff, ‘Protocol’ (1984), both critical mishaps but faith from audiences after the classic ‘Private Benjamin’ was enough of a draw to make them perpetual hits.

Although a forgettable film, the significance of meeting her long term partner Kurt Russell, six years her junior, on the set of wartime romance ‘Swing Shift’ (1984) remains distinct.

Then came ‘Wildcats’ (1986) catapulting Goldie into star status bigger than ever before stepping up as coach of a losing varsity gridiron team featuring newcomers Woody Harrelson, Wesley Snipes and L.L Cool J. Never straying from formula, ‘Wildcats’ remains a classic which unknowingly triggered a ten year box office bonanza of variable creativity including fan favourite and second film alongside beau Russell, ‘Overboard’ (1987), fruity action farce with Aussie Mel Gibson, ‘Bird on a Wire’ (1990), underappreciated forays into thriller-drama territory ‘Decieved’ (1991), ‘Criss Cross’ (1992) and ridiculous ode to screwball comedies of yesteryear, ‘HouseSitter’ (1992).

Luckily Oscar winning fantasy, ‘Death Becomes Her’ (1992), regained Goldie as a major funny girl opposite her majesty Meryl Streep and on fire Bruce Willis. However the movie summit was set in 1996 when a little chick-flick was released with limited fanfare only to become one of the decade’s biggest money spinners.

To this day, ‘First Wives Club’ is a go-to pick on girls movie nights featuring Goldie at her elaborate best with legends Bette Midler and Diane Keaton who turn the tables on being dumped by husbands for younger women. It also memorably features the trio singing a monumental version of ‘You Don’t Own Me’.

That same year, Ms. Hawn’s vocal ability was explored further in Woody Allen’s European musical, ‘Everybody Say’s I Love You’. For no apparent reason, she left big gaps between films. Remaking the ‘70s comedy, ‘The Out-of-Towners’ (1999) with Steve Martin and John Cleese was not a good idea but the laughs were even thinner for ‘Town & Country’ (2001).

Warren Beatty directed it then disowned it, cinemas dropped it from screens in a matter of days after release with close to no tickets sold. I did see it at Hoyts George St Cinemas distinctly remembering being one of two in the audience. The aforementioned aging rock groupie tale, ‘Banger Sisters’ was the end of an era in some respects with Goldie taking time out to write her brick like bestselling tell all biography, ‘A Lotus Grows in the Mud’, published in 2006.

Ironically, judging a book by its cover has never been something associated with irrepressible Goldie Hawn. Like many, it is obvious from first appearances that work has been curated across her facial features. ‘Death Becomes Her’ like nips and tucks in reality perhaps but it’s still Goldie and the memory of her illustrious comic career is unforgettable.

Combining with globally revered stand-up comic Schumer is a genius move. However it remains to be seen if the purposefully crude, wry and indelicate, ‘Snatched’, resonates with audiences longing to see Goldie adapting or simply acquired viewing around this Mother’s Day.

SNATCHED (20th Century Fox) | Rated MA – 91 min

Shane A. Bassett

Sydney Unleashed is one of Australia’s premier entertainment publications exploring the latest in lifestyle trends. From Sydney’s finest restaurants, cafes and bars to the hottest in gadgets, products, and home entertainment, Sydney Unleashed is your one-stop lifestyle platform.