The Girl Can’t Help It is the garish acme of CinemaScope and DeLuxe Color, monumentally loud and blatantly exploitative —a veritable Parthenon of vulgarity and a supremely unfunny comedy that is pure eau de Fifty-Six. This satire of Elvis and Marilyn (or rather, of their clones) shimmers with radioactive pinks and cobalt blues; at once strident and static, the movie defines the atomic-Wurlitzer chrome– tailfin Fontainebleau-lobby look. Producer-director-co-writer Frank Tashlin is one of the very few Hollywood directors who broke into movies as an animator and, like the Dean Martin–Jerry Lewis comedies that preceded it, The Girl Can’t Help It is something like a live-action Looney Tune.
Grotesque stereotypes collide with billboard-sized caricatures. This proto Pop Art pathology might be too painful to contemplate were it not for the exotic life forms flourishing around its periphery. Climaxing with a rock show performed for an audience of teenage white zombies, The Girl Can’t Help It is populated by all manner of failed honkers and would-be cool cats—as well as Fats Domino, the Platters, a gospel-shouting Abbey Lincoln.
The coolest presence ever recorded by a Hollywood camera may be Little Richard, first seen standing entranced before a piano—as if wondering whether to pulverize or incinerate it.
“In Albania, is anything so bad it’s good?” “Little Richard was “…the King of Rock ‘n Roll, and the Queen of Rock ‘n Roll.“
Here, our beloved Pope of Trash introduces Frank Tashlin’s gemstone for everyone to enjoy.…