This is the precautionary tale of the swinger’s life. Alfie has multiple girlfriends all the time, maybe as many as twelve at once and some are married. He’s pretty good at scheduling his time around all of them and never getting caught (I doubt that would matter anyway), but when unexpected pregnancies occur Alfie’s faced with decisions that could drastically affect his lifestyle.
Alfie is always trying to give the people around him advice. He tells his baby-mama to give the kid up for adoption and tells his friend in the hospital to think for himself, rather than wait all week for his wife. He even looks at the camera and gives us pointers about how to be successful in his lifestyle. “Make a married woman laugh and you’re halfway there.” We might agree with Alfie at times and want people to do as he advises, but once one girl really does take his advice, the effects are more than Alfie could have imagined.
The most amazing thing about Alfie is that he connects more with his audience than with any of his girlfriends or child. He’ll stop in the middle of a necking session and let us in on some fun facts about this girl (“She’s got a little ginger mustache.”) The magic behind his narration is that he is never heard by those around him, his words are just for us, making him more of a loner yet charismatic at the same time. If this film cut all the narration we wouldn’t have the same ideas about Alfie, we’d just watch him seduce, keep his distance and finally walk away over and over again. It’s with that little bit of movie magic that we understand and sympathize with Alfie, no matter what pickle he’s gotten himself into.
Of course, with the magnificent Michael Caine playing the title playboy, what could be better? The youngsters out there probably know Caine best from playing trusty old Alfred in Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. Believe me, he’s just as great then as he is now, and has the look to play a real ladies man. Alfie was his first acting nomination at the Academy Awards and since then he’s racked up a few Oscars.
Alfie is a delightful film; fun, sexy, hilarious and with just enough drama to keep things seriously placed in reality. The film was daring enough to let Caine break the fourth wall and talk to the audience half the time and bring serious light on a very controversial issue. Read between the lines above to decide if you want to bring that issue into your home. All in all, I’d recommend this film to anyone who enjoys a good comedy, romance with some drama mixed in. And of course, this is a must watch for any Michael Caine fan.
“I’ve told you before to be careful where you put your legs.”