Live a Little, Love a Little (1968)

65% – Critics
65% – Audience

Live a Little, Love a Little Storyline

Photographer Greg Nolan meets Bernice, and loses both his job and his apartment. However, Bernice manages to get him a new apartment, but it is so expensive that he has to get two full-time jobs. Nolan has trouble finding time to do them both without his bosses finding out.—Mattias Thuresson

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Live a Little, Love a Little Movie Reviews

A little less conversation, a little more singing would have been nice

Live a Little, Love a Little was a departure from the normal Elvis Presley travelogues, and this off-the-beaten-track trend continued for the rest of his film career (four films). It’s sexy with a more adult theme than usual. Even more unusual, it only has a few songs, including “A Little Less Conversation.” I say, if you’re going to sing four, sing a few more. It’s a movie, it’s Elvis, it’s not a drama.

Elvis plays a photographer who meets a strange young woman of uncertain name on the beach. His life then takes a series of bizarre turns. Michele Carey is the woman, and she’s not only beautiful but very funny as well.

The film is mildly entertaining. Elvis’ real life pooch Brutus has a supporting role. He was a superb actor!

Elvis’ strangest film starts out great,but second half weak

This must be Elvis’ strangest film. It starts off in high gear, throws in a lot of mysterious twists, features a beautiful and funny co-star (Michele Carey–where are you? We need you back!), and has an intriguing soundtrack which doesn’t sound remotely like anything else Elvis ever recorded–it even has a freak-out sequence, with the King singing a psychedelic song! I’m guessing that the creators of this film wanted to make a “swinging sixties” version of a screwball comedy, and they almost succeeded. For the first half, I thought I’d discovered a lost classic…or at least a lost camp classic! However, about mid-way through, the breakneck pace slows down, the weirdness goes away, and the rest of the film stumbles along like a mediocre sitcom. Still, no one could accuse this oddity of being a “formula” film, at least the first half. And this Elvis fan would much rather watch this or the equally quirky THE TROUBLE WITH GIRLS than watch GI BLUES or BLUE HAWAII. TCM showed this letterboxed, the way it should be seen, so you might want to wait a year or two until a DVD comes out…or at least until TCM has another Elvis festival and shows the letterboxed version at 3 a.m…rather than watch it panned and scanned. I think that anyone with the least interest in Elvis would enjoy watching this film, if only for the freakout sequence with the song “Edge of Reality.”

Singing Idols Of Two Generations

Without the musical numbers of which no Elvis Presley film could be without, Live A Little, Love A Little plays more like one of those big screen Ross Hunter comedies that might have starred Rock Hudson. In fact the characters that Elvis and leading lady Michele Carey play bear no small resemblance to the ones played by Hudson and Paula Prentiss in one of my favorite of Hudson’s comedies, Man’s Favorite Sport.

A chance encounter at the beach with a very kookie girl played by Carey leaves Elvis’s life in total chaos. He finds himself working two full time jobs as a photographer at the same time just to keep up with his new mode of upscale living. Of course in the end she tones it down a bit when she finds true love with the King.

Of course since this is a Presley vehicle, Live A Little, Love A Little has to have a score. It has four numbers the best of which is the song sung right at the beginning called Wonderful World. It’s a philosophical type number, the kind Bing Crosby used to have a specialty of in his films. Sad to say that the King’s time as film star was drawing to a close. Had this been done in the Fifties, these songs might have yielded a Presley hit or two.

As usual Colonel Tom Parker made sure that Elvis was given good support by some veteran familiar players. Next to Walt Disney, Elvis Presley and his manager were the great employers of veteran movie faces who were finding it harder and harder to get work. Such folks as Dick Sargent, Joan Shawlee, Sterling Holloway are in the cast.

Two more who play Elvis’s rival employers who work in the same building are Don Porter and Rudy Vallee. Porter plays a Hugh Hefner type hedonist publisher of skin magazines and displays a certain avuncular charm.

And Live A Little, Love A Little gives fans a treat to see singing idols of two generation sharing the screen. It would have been great to see Rudy Vallee and the King do a number together, but I suspect that the lack was by mutual consent. Vallee plays another variation on his conservative ad agency president from How To Succeed in Busines Without Really Trying.

Though Elvis’s vehicles were not up to what he was putting out earlier in his career, Live A Little, Love A Little is a nice bit of entertainment and the King’s fans will love it.