Tony Mastroianni Review Collection

"Girly" flops as a comedy

Cleveland Press September 19, 1970

Treacle mixed with venom is an ugly little concoction called "Girly" which is currently making the rounds of movie houses.

Living in London in a gingerbread Gothic mansion are Mumsy (Ursula Howells), Nanny (Pat Heywood), Sonny (Howard Trevor) and Girly (Vanessa Howard). They talk very, very cutesy, sickeningly cutesy.

Nanny sleeps in a trundle bed at the foot of Mumsy's bed. Girly and Sonny sleep in cribs in a large, toy-filled nursery.

This is no Mary Poppins household, however. Sonny and Girly are full-grown youngsters in spite of their prancing around in children's clothes and rushing off to the zoo and the playground.

THE HOUSE also has a few decomposing bodies hanging about, a nameless friend locked away in a room and he is about to be done in.

Sonny and Girly are in the habit of bringing home new friends, men friends who play with them and are as much attracted by Girly in her little girl clothes as anything else.

At home they play silly childrens' games. They apparently play other games too but Mumsy warns that fancying new friends is against the rules.

"You may have them but you mustn't fancy them," she says.

If a new friend doesn't obey the rules he "is sent to the angels." Getting sent to the angels, it develops, is not only lethal but fairly gory as bloody axes swing and a head is cooked in a soup pot.

Getting whimsical with murder and mayhem is pretty touchy. When it works it can make for an interesting and off-beat comedy. In "Girly" it doesn't work at all and the result is sickening rather than funny.