(On Cable TV, June 2019) Director Blake Edwards built his career with bigger-than-life comedies, so the gender-twisting outrageousness of Victor Victoria does make quite a bit of sense coming from him. See if you can keep up: In 1930s Paris, a gay man convinces a woman to impersonate a man impersonating a woman in a transvestite cabaret show. (We’re deep in Philip K. Dick’s fake-fake territory here.) Still, the film itself is a decent amount of fun. Julie Andrews stars as the woman asked to play a woman, but much of the spotlight goes to Robert Preston (and his great voice) as an aging gay man—his character is treated with some respect (within the confines of a 1982 film taking in place in 1934, that is), helping the film age more gracefully than most contemporaries. There are shades of Cabaret here (especially considering its inspiration, a 1933 German film) but don’t worry: Victor Victoria doesn’t have Nazis and ends on a far more cheerful note. It definitely comes alive during the funny cabaret sequence, especially when they result in musical numbers. The best is saved for last, with a deliberately over-the-top final sequence. While I’m not enthusiastic about Victor Victoria, it’s an easy film to watch and the cheerful atmosphere makes it all feel far more bearable than other comparable films (or musicals) of the era.