On this season’s Mad Men, Don Draper has a groovy pad in Manhattan. This is what I thought until I saw How to Murder Your Wife. Jack Lemmon’s townhouse is what it should be. The movie is probably the most misogynistic movie ever made. It’s up there with the racist Birth of a Nation on the offensive scale.
Jack Lemmon plays a confirmed bachelor (not code for gay here) who accidentally marries Virna Lisi after a drunken party. Lisi is Italian and speaks no English, and begins to redecorate the groovy bachelor pad. She also cooks big buttery Italian meals and Lemmon gets fat. As a comic strip artist, he takes out his frustration by making his alter-ego character marry a woman and then kill her. When Lisi sees this she flees, and Lemmon is accused of actually murdering his wife. There is a big courtroom scene that is unbelievably disturbing where he proposes every man be allowed to murder his wife. Scary.
Plotlines and hate language aside, the design of Lemmon’s apartment is fantastic. It’s hip and urban, with a touch of Billy Baldwin (the designer not actor) eclecticism. There is an all white modular kitchen, all black marble bathroom, modern art mixed with Victorian lamps, a brass bed that is a piece of sculpture, and Fornasetti screen bathroom doors. The core by Neal Hefti (of The Odd Couple, and 1966 Batman fame) is sublime. And then, there is Virna Lisi. Let me just say this, “Un#%*!ing beautiful!”