Mini-Review: I Love You, Alice B. Toklas (1968)

I Love You, Alice B. Toklas (1968)
AKA Kiss My Butterfly

Starring Peter Sellers, Jo Van Fleet, Leigh Taylor-Young, Joyce Van Patten, David Arkin

Directed by Hy Averback

Expectations: None at all.


The film opens with some hippie guru saying stuff like, “Do you know who you are? You must know a flower before you can know yourself.” Cut to: Peter Sellers driving a car through the downtown city. Sellers plays a Woody Allen type of character, a slightly neurotic normal man who has all kinds of extraordinary circumstances surrounding him. Generally in a Woody Allen film this is funny, but in this film it isn’t so much. Sellers does the best he can with the material, but this kind of counter-culture film just isn’t going to play well 42 years later.

There are some jokes about how a Mexican family is trying to pull some insurance fraud when someone rear-ended their car carrying 11 people and some chickens. The family walks into Sellers’ office all wearing neck braces. Maybe I’m twisted, but I laughed when I saw the kids wearing neck braces. The whole scene was surprising though, as you don’t see many of these blatantly racist stereotypes in films nowadays. There weren’t that many jokes that still worked, but I did enjoy the part with the hearse drivers being on strike.

The opening of the film isn’t bad and has promise, but it slowly slides into pointless hippie drivel when a girl makes pot brownies for Sellers, after which he decides to leave his current self behind and live the free and uninhibited hippie way. If you’re a big Peter Sellers fan, you might give this one a look, but don’t expect too much. It hasn’t aged well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Ot-mtIhrpA

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