"Hollywood or Bust is to The Girl Can't Help It as —making due allowance—L'ecole des femmes is to Le Misanthrope. Taking Howard Hawks' beloved theme of a journey (although the journey from New York to Hollywood corresponds to our own Paris-Cote d'Azur, films like this are impossible in France because the theme of migration came to us from America and we are incapable of handling it with the same naturalness), Tashlin indulges a riot of poetic fantasies where charm and comic invention alternate in a constant felicity of expression. The plot is thin, certainly, but the merit is all the greater. To have turned Dean Martin into a comedian is feat enough to rate his director a place at the very top.
"Louis Jouvet quotes somewhere this definition of the theater by Alfred de Vigny: a thought which is metamorphosed into a mechanism. So Tashlin, a man of the cinema and the cinema of color, does the opposite of Vigny's dictum. The proof is Jerry Lewis' face, where the height of artifice blends at times with the nobility of true documentary.
"To sum up, Frank Tashlin has not renovated the Hollywood comedy. He has done better. There is not a degree of difference between Hollywood or Bust and It Happened One Night, between The Girl Can't Help It and Design For Living, but a difference in kind. Tashlin, in other words, has not renewed but created. And henceforth, when you talk about a comedy, don't say 'It's Chaplinesque'; say loud and clear, 'It's Tashlinesque.'"
—Jean-Luc Godard, "Hollywood Or Bust," Cahiers du Cinema 73, July 1957, translation Tom Milne