Film: What A Way To Go!
What A Way To Go! is a 1964 comedy film directed by J Lee Thompson and starring Shirley MacLaine as Louisa May Foster, an unwilling Black Widow who falls in love with, marries and loses four husbands through the course of the movie, amassing an unwanted and ever-expanding fortune in the process. As she relates her life-history to a psychiatrist, each of her marriages is depicted as a parody of a different film genre: with Dick Van Dyke as a silent movie, Paul Newman as a pretentious French film, Robert Mitchum as a Hollywood romantic blockbuster and Gene Kelly as a musical. In the end she marries Dean Martin's Leonard Crawley, who is saved from death by being a complete and glorious failure in everything he attempts besides that marriage.
This film provides examples of:
- Babies Ever After: One of the signs that Louisa and Leonard's marriage will actually last.
- Cartwright Curse: Gender-flipped.
- Costume Porn / Unlimited Wardrobe: Especially during the Mitchum sequence.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Each of the husbands' deaths.
- Everything's Better with Cows: An angry bull is the cause of Mitchum's character's death after he tries to milk it.
- First Girl Wins: Another gender-flip, with Leonard being Louisa's original hometown boyfriend.
- Freudian Couch: Louisa lays on one while telling her life-story.
- Groupie Brigade: Causes the death of Kelly's character.
- Insufferable Genius: Newman and Kelly's characters both come to embody this trope.
- Logo Joke: The 20th Century Fox logo is pink, because Kelly's character has everything painted that color.
- Spinning Newspaper: Parodied.
- Springtime for Hitler: Louisa can't get rid of her money, no matter how hard she tries.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Louisa, who can't offer even the tiniest and most well-meaning suggestion or advice without it somehow snowballing into killing her current husband.
- Workaholic: "It just goes to show, a little hard work never killed anybody!" [thud]