Office Christmas Party
Another reminder that allowing your cast to madly improvise instead of actually providing a coherent script with a scintilla of inherent logic often leads to…
"X, Y & Zee" is a loud, boozy celebration of the fact that no matter what Elizabeth Taylor says or does, she's a movie star. The movie in this case is no masterpiece, but audiences are having fun at it because it unzips along at a nice, vulgar clip. It's soft-core pornography, sort of like John O'Hara's later novels and Miss Taylor plops herself down in the middle of it as a bitchy wife.
As the title suggests none too subtly, what we have here is a romantic triangle. Miss Taylor is married to Michael Caine, an architect with a hunger for a nice, quiet, uncomplicated love affair - no strings attached. He thinks he's found the ideal girl in Susannah York and sets about seducing her with a rather cold efficiency.
He doesn't make much of an effort to hide the affair from his wife, apparently because part of his kick is in flaunting a mistress. We sense he's had affairs before, and that they play an important part in this uneasy marriage. They're childless, and their marriage has settled down into a grim sadomasochistic battlefield. Sometimes we're reminded of George and Martha in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" The couple has too much hatred invested in their marriage to break it up now.
The young girl doesn't realize this, of course, and gets caught in the middle of the game playing. She's a quiet girl, shy and not self-assertive. And toward the end of the movie she reveals some latent lesbian tendencies that provide Miss Taylor with a final victory.