One of the best comedies of the 1960s and one of the most subversive as well…it’s difficult to believe that Warner Bros. released I LOVE YOU ALICE B. TOKLAS. Peter Sellers, in his most American role, plays Harold Fine, an uptight mama’s boy putting off any commitment to girlfriend Joyce Van Patten. He falls head over heels for free-spirited Leigh Taylor Young and all hell breaks loose. Sellers is brilliant, Van Patten is pretty funny, and Taylor-Young is striking. The movie is nearly stolen by Jo Van Fleet as Sellers mother, a shrike to be sure, and hysterical eating a "special" brownie. She’s priceless…once again giving a great performance as a character of a substantially more advanced age…she was 54 playing 43 year old Sellers mother! Hy Averback’s direction is clever and the film is filled with a lot of funny gags…a highlight is Sellers and crew driving ALL OVER Los Angeles in search of a funeral.
This is a film that I strongly think your opinion of it will depend on your age. Younger folks who have no recollection of the 1960s will probably find this film less interesting. Those who vividly remember this strange decade will probably get more from the film. Me, I was only a young kid during this time, so my opinion seems to fall somewhere in the middle.The movie begins with Peter Sellers playing a Jewish attorney living in Los Angeles. His life is very "normal" and he is on track to be quite successful and marry his sweetheart (Joyce Van Patten). However, when his brother's lover (Leigh Taylor-Young) slips Sellers and his fiancé and his parents a dish of hashish-laced brownies, Sellers' straight-laced veneer vanishes and now the 35 year-old "square" wants to drop out and become a hippie. Much of the rest of the film concerns the ins and outs of such a life and by the end of the film, it seems that Sellers isn't content with either life……
" I LOve You Alice B. Toklas " is a 60s gem. Peter Sellers is out-standing as an uptight, highly successful, Jewish lawyer, engaged to be married, who falls in love with his hippie brother’s hippie girl and "drops out". For those too young to remember the 60s this film will probably appear to be meaningless, but it’s a classic example of what thousands of Americans went through during this revoltionary decade. The film however is stolen by the incredible beauty of Leigh Taylor-Young who was making her film debut. What a beauty! A real 10. Nothing fake about her. I recall seeing this movie when it first came out in 1968 when I was 10 years old. Everyone in the theater was rolling in the aisles with laughter. And every guy there had a "crush" on Leigh Taylor Young.So, turn on the lava-lamb, put on some love-beads, put some pillows on the floor, take off your shoes, and go back to time and enjoy this 1960s comedy classic.