Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB. USA, 1963. Ross Hunter Productions, Arwin Productions. Story by Larry Gelbart, Carl Reiner, Screenplay by Carl Reiner. Cinematography by Russell Metty. Produced by Ross Hunter, Martin Melcher. Music by Frank De Vol. Production Design by Robert F. Boyle, Alexander Golitzen. Costume Design by Jean Louis. Film Editing by Milton Carruth.
Certainly one of Doris Day‘s most energetic and colourful films, but also among her most dated (and more than slightly offensive by today’s standards). She plays a gorgeous housewife to a successful obstetrician (James Garner) who tells a soap magnate at a dinner party that his soap saved her life during bath time with her annoyingly precious daughter (someone please tell the overacting child star to stop screaming). Loving her story, the magnate decides to drop the company’s current ad campaign, that of a bombshell movie star bathing nude in a pool, and replace her with awkward but honest Day telling about her happy home life with “Happy” soap. It turns her into something of a television celebrity, which means the worst possible situation in an American home: she’s not always there to cook dinner! Garner eventually becomes so frustrated with Day’s new “independent” lifestyle that he goes to Olympian lengths to teach her a lesson, and it’s so incredibly ridiculous (and provincial) that you might end up digging in your heels before it’s over. How such misogynistic claptrap could even be watched nowadays is a mystery except for one key element: Ms. Day’s integrity sells it at least part way, and her vivacious performance keeps it afloat throughout. That doesn’t mean, though, that I’m forgiving the fact that it’s bullshit on a Nazi propaganda level.