Cinema: Hipster's Harlot

Kiss Me, Stupid. The careers of Producer-Director Billy Wilder and his favorite collaborator, Writer I.A.L. Diamond, can be traced in a curve that peaked in such frantic, funny, wickedly knowing comedies as Some Like It Hot and The Apartment, plunged downward in Irma La Douce, and now lands in the murk of Kiss Me, Stupid, a jape that seems to have scraped its blue-black humor off the floor of a honky-tonk nightclub.

Stupid plays cupid for a whisky-throated crooner named Dean Martin, played by Martin himself in an orgy of self-parody. En route to Hollywood from Las Vegas, the swinger has to...