Victor Victoria (1982)

Victor Victoria (1982), directed by Blake Edwards.

In 1934 Paris, the only way singer Julie Andrews can get a job is by pretending to be a man working as a female impersonator. This Shakespearean scenario complicates her life, but success is sweet. American club owner James Garner is 99% sure she's a woman and removes his final doubts by spying on her in the bath. They fall for each other, but now what to do?

It's a Message film, in the open and affirming direction. Being a Blake Edwards picture it's not a subtle message, just gay this that and everything else. (I don't think the word was even used back then, but you have to call it something) As usual, some of the humor works and some is painful. He can't resist low slapstick bits.

The Message is a bit clunky in retrospect:

We never really believe Andrews as a man, but she has tons of charisma and so we go along. Garner is always likeable but a victim of the plot: when doubting his manhood he naturally gets into bar-fights. Of course: hetero males are all cavemen.

Andrews and Garner were in The Americanization of Emily (1964) 18 years earlier.

The rest of the cast are, collectively, a hoot:

The DVD has a fond and often technical commentary track by married couple Edwards and Andrews.