Kiss Me, Stupid is one of several critical and commercial disappointments that tarnish Billy Wilder's later career. Reviewers chastised its reliance on stereotypes, as well as its archaic indoor scenery and filtered black-and-white photography. Audiences resisted the film's guileless approach (such as casting Dean Martin as a boozing rat packer) and cynical moral (that a couple may revive its love and its finances through infidelity). But it is the simplicity and coarseness of this picture that have left it memorable and even commendable. Kiss Me, Stupid is a precursor of such American films as Todd Solondz's Happiness and Neil LaBute's Your Friends & Neighbors -- movies that exploit paper-thin characters and unadorned filmmaking to develop an honesty often celebrated for being unpleasant. With Kiss Me, Stupid, Wilder does not hide behind the attractive fallibility of William Holden or Jack Lemmon. They may have been praised as appealing to the "everyman," but Martin and Ray Walston are every man -- a little too typical and a little too familiar. Their characters react predictably to each plot turn, and are thus too uncomplicated to have their behavior excused. They inhabit the unforgiving real world -- a fact emphasized by Wilder's drab living room backgrounds and his decision not to glamorize them in Technicolor. Kiss Me, Stupid is necessarily abrasive, understandably painful to watch, and brilliantly ahead of its time.