Feisty Female: Millie Dillmount
Year we got to know her: 1967
Best known for:
Why, she’s a Modern! Terrif!
Millie put herself through Belle Weatherall’s Girl’s School for Business to become a Stenog. She made herself over from small-town-nobody to thoroughly-modern-flapper: bob, beads, and bust-reducing brassiere (4:01). She fell in love, saved her best friend’s life, and learned to drive a car!
She sings! She dances! She’s fresh as paint–no raspberries!
Why she deserves a second look:
Thoroughly Modern Millie was a favorite of mine growing up because I loved Julie Andrews and I found this particular spoof hysterically funny. I especially loved the way Millie spoke directly to the camera with her snarky little asides (like, “I can’t wait for the Christmas Party!,” 0:17). She always seemed to know exactly what she wanted and was very assertive in getting it, even though her goals and desires evolved as the film progressed (“Just another first!”).
Although I have to admit that I do get a bit irritated with the ending. *shakes fist at screenwriter*: you just couldn’t let her be could you?! (In my head, Millie kept working and asked for a checkbook.)
I also adore that it’s set in the Roaring 20’s– I love the fashion and, more importantly, the language, by jingo! In fact, you’ll probably hear me utter more than one of Millie’s many mottoes: Delish!; Oh, he’s just full of apple sauce; Forget the boy, Dillmount, get yourself a man; and, Starting tomorrow, I’m going to be unspeakably fatal– to name but a few.
Drive, motivation, humor + singing, dancing, romance + 20s cultural touchstones = Millie Dillmount, my dream come true.
But you don’t have to take my word for it– Thoroughly Modern Millie has 100% on Rotten Tomatoes!