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10

(1979) ** 1/2 R
122 min. Orion Pictures/Warner Brothers. Director: Blake Edwards. Cast: Dudley Moore, Julie Andrews, Bo Derek, Robert Webber, Dee Wallace Stone.

/content/films/3940/1.jpgThe standard bearer for the midlife-crisis comedy, Blake Edwards' 10 was a 1979 comedy hit well positioned for a twenty-year run as a favorite on broadcast and cable TV. Even with a run time that inches past the two-hour mark, 10 keeps matters rather simple: man feels old, man sees girl, man stalks girl. The man is George Webber (Dudley Moore), a shifty artist terminally distracted by his (waning) testosterone. Obviously, writer-director Edwards took inspiration from real life—even casting his real-life wife Julie Andrews as George's chanteuse girlfriend, Samantha "Sam" Taylor.

Age is just a number, they say, but George isn't very pleased to have just turned forty-two (as Douglas Adams realized, it's a funny number, especially in a British accent). In a rut with Sam and prone to a sexy distraction, George soon fixates on another number: the hotness rating of a young woman (Bo Derek) he sees while driving down Santa Monica Boulevard. On a scale of one to ten, George concludes, this woman is an "11." Thunderstruck, he trails her to a church, watches her marry a strapping young lad and, unable to get her off his mind, begins investigating her. Naturally, this doesn't bode well for the health of George's relationship or for his career plunking out tunes with his lyricist partner Hugh (Robert Webber). That the gay Hugh is in a functional relationship with a boy toy adds fuel to George's fire for the mystery girl: might George be able to score with this goddess, infidelity be damned? Doesn't he deserve his own little slice of heaven?

George's lust-driven odyssey leads him into mishaps that include a pratfall down a hill, a nasty bee sting, and that old comedy standby: a mouth-numbing trip to the dentist (when George ill-advisedly mixes drugs and alcohol, Moore gets the opportunity to do his patented drunk act). The reverend (Max Showalter) who married the object of George's affection supplies information—and reveals his amateur interest in songwriting—in a scene most memorable for a funny bit involving a shaky elderly receptionist (Nedra Volz). A third act trip south of the border finally brings George face to face with Derek's Jenny Hanley, who extols the sexy virtues of Ravel's Boléro and, surprisingly, offers to give George what he wants—if only he can figure out what that is.

10 never amounts to more than the sum of its parts, but it does have some pretty good parts (and I'm not just talking about Derek, who stopped hearts running down the Mexican beach). Brian Dennehy delivers a nice turn as a bartender at the Mexican resort, Edwards scripts a believable lovers' quarrel about sexism, Andrews gets a chance to sing (natch), and Moore does some of his subtlest cavorting. 10's tossed-off quality keeps it from greatness, but it also distinguishes Edwards' film from the great mass of contemporary comedies smoothed to a shiny, edgeless formula.

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Bluray

Aspect ratios: 2.40:1

Number of discs: 1

Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0

Street date: 2/1/2011

Distributor: Warner Home Video

Warner's Blu-ray edition of 10 gives a noticeable, though hardly spectacular, upgrade to the picture. The image has always been on the soft side, but there's a boost in detail over standard def, and color and contrast appear a bit more true to the source, which certainly retains its film-like character here. The audio won't rock home theaters, since it's DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0, but the track is nevertheless clean and clear.

The only bonus features are the vintage featurette "A Dream...a Fantasy...a TEN!" (4:26, SD), which includes film clips, B-roll footage and a few comments from Moore and Andrews, and the film's "Theatrical Trailer" (2:47, SD).

Review gear:
Panasonic Viera TC-P55VT30 55" Plasma 1080p 3D HDTV
Oppo BDP-93 Universal Network 3D Blu-ray Disc Player
Denon AVR2112CI Integrated Network A/V Surround Receiver
Pioneer SP-BS41-LR Bookshelf Speaker (2)
Pioneer SP-C21 Center Speaker
Pioneer SW-8 Subwoofer

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