Welcome to Queerty’s latest entry in our series, Queerantined: Daily Dose. Every weekday as long as the COVID-19 pandemic has us under quarantine, we’ll release a suggested bit of gloriously queer entertainment designed to keep you from getting stir crazy in the house. Each weekend, we will also suggest a binge-able title to keep you extra engaged.
The Bent: Victor/Victoria
Aspiring singers have it rough. Just ask Victoria (Julie Andrews), an out of work soprano so impoverished, she carries cockroaches to restaurants in hopes of getting free meals. Lucky for her, her path crosses with that of Todd (Robert Preston), an out-of-work gay cabaret performer. With both their employment options limited, the pair join forces to pass Victoria off as a drag queen, which means she must begin living as a man named Victor. All bodes well until Victoria becomes infatuated with King Marchand (James Garner), a handsome gangster, who can’t quite understand his attraction to the handsome Victor.
Victor/Victoria occupies the tail-end of the second phase of Hollywood’s musical infatuation; almost two decades would pass before movies like Dancer in the Dark and Moulin Rouge! would reinvigorate the genre. Lucky for us, then, the movie is terrific. Andrews, Preston and Leslie Ann Warren (as King’s floozy girlfriend) each scored Oscar nominations for their hilarious performances, and the story benefits from the kinetic direction of Blake Edwards, Andrews’ husband, the comic genius behind the Pink Panther movies. With rousing musical numbers by Henry Mancini and an ahead-of-its-time gay romance between two masculine men, Victor/Victoria doesn’t get enough credit as a jewel of queer cinema or a musical. Given our own silly mindset as month two of COVID lockdown begins, we need a few good laughs. Look no further than this whimsical screwball musical for a dose of joy.
Streams on Amazon, iTunes, YouTube & VUDU.