A kaleidoscopic update of The Apartment, Cactus Flower feels like a film born out of my dreams: I mean Ingrid Bergman, Walter Matthau and Goldie Hawn in a screwball comedy? Walter and Goldie as a couple? Ingrid as a spinster, bearing an unrequited love for Matthau? It really shouldn’t work . . . but it does.I do often think of Meg Ryan when I watch this one. As the heir to Goldie Hawn’s comedy crown she herself was no stranger to Walter Matthau. They co-starred in I.Q. in 1994 and again in Hanging Up, which turned out to be Walter’s final film.A Cactus Flower remake could have been the perfect vehicle for Ryan in her heyday. She’d have rocked the role of a Greenwich Village kook, opposite Michelle Pfeiffer, as a more serious type in the mould of One Fine Day‘s Melanie.Michelle would have brought the dry-humored poise, Ryan the ditzy energy; together they could have out one-lined and out-shticked each other to a standstill. As for Walter Matthau I’m not sure who could have filled his shoes. He only had to appear on screen with a vacant look on his face to be funny.Leaving fantasy casting aside, no remake was necessary here, I’d suggest you just go with the original. If only for the surreal sight of Goldie Hawn and Ingrid Bergman dancing side by side in a swinging 60’s disco. Only Meg and Michelle, letting their hair down for a 90’s dance floor duet could have possibly compared.
Goldie, Meg and Matthau, Michelle and Ingrid Bergman too: From Cactus Flower to a Pfantasy Pfeiffer Pfilm