Thursday, April 3, 2014
Two young ladies decide to go to London and take the town by storm, and they nearly do. Yvonne (Lynn Redgrave of Georgy Girl) is large, gaudy and gauche, and her pal Brenda (Rita Tushingham of The Leather Boys) is slight, homely, but sticks up for herself. They head straight toward Carnaby street where the excitement is. Their assorted misadventures include working in a club where a patron takes a tipsy Yvonne home to his apartment as Brenda follows; Brenda working for a woman who owns a fashion shop but who couldn't care less about business; Yvonne working in a restaurant, "Sweeney Todd," that only serves pies (leading to a major pie fight); and Yvonne becoming a screechy pop singer while Brenda is somehow turned into a model. Smashing Time is amiable and the ladies are fine (although Tushingham perhaps mugs a bit too much), but director Davis lets everything go on too long, including an early scene in a coffee shop and the aforementioned pie fight, until it just isn't funny anymore. Michael York [Something for Everyone] plays a photographer who takes a picture of a delighted Yvonne, but publishes it as a look to avoid, "the girl who got it wrong." There are some pleasant music hall-type tunes in the film as well, and a zany climax.
Verdict: Some fun and an awful lot of silliness. **1/2.