A Very Special Favor (1965)

MICHAEL GORDON

Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.  USA, 1965.  .  Screenplay by , .  Cinematography by .  Produced by Stanley Shapiro.  Music by .  Production Design by , .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

Lawyer , is appalled to learn that the reason he lost a case to handsome opposing counsel  is because his opponent wooed the beautiful female judge.  In exchange for not reporting his unprofessional behaviour and getting the man disbarred, Boyer asks Hudson for a huge favour: given that he is a notorious playboy who is irresistible to women, could he please ask his Freudian psychiatrist daughter () out on a date?  Boyer has only been recently reunited with her after she was taken away from him as a child, and he is upset to discover that she has grown up cold and bossy and is engaged to a “weak” man who does everything she says (basically she has a job and an opinion, welcome to the sixties).  Hudson complies, posing as a sex-addicted patient for Caron, then feels bad when he manipulates her into love, then she finds out his game and tries to manipulate him back.  In a weird twist of plot, he gets a female secretary to dress up as a man and convince Caron that he’s gay so that she’ll work extra hard to get him into bed (the ironies in these comedies really come in layers, don’t they).  This film came out six years out from Hudson’s first big hit with screenwriter Stanley Shapiro, Pillow Talk, and the formula is looking threadbare and naive at this point.  Caron gives a credible performance but she’s no Doris Day, in part because she’s actually too credible and it’s hard to believe she’d let any of this nonsense slide the way Day always did, while Hudson is her complete opposite, relaxed and perpetually smirking while keeping his fabulous secrets to himself.

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