Monday, August 29, 2011

"Move Over Darling" 1963

Move Over Darling
“Move Over Darling”

Nicholas Arden: [muttering as he walks through the hotel lobby] My wife is wife is wife is alive...
Seymour: So's mine, buddy, that's why I drink!

I like Doris Day. My husband hates her. He is convinced that I have worked out some covert deal with the American Movie Classics channel to show her movies on Sunday mornings. I haven’t but I love watching them.

This movie was originally to star Marilyn Monroe and Dean Martin. She was fired from the film, Dean Martin held out on having her replaced and she was set to return to filming when she died. On the documentary, “Marilyn Monroe, Her Final Days” they cobbled together some of the shot footage into 37 minutes of story. It gives a glimpse of what this film could have been. It would have been interesting to see Monroe evolve into that next stage of her career.

This movie is delightful. Doris Day isn’t afraid to be completely goofy. When she is pretending to be a Swedish nurse to check out the new wife, she is hilarious.

James Garner is great. I do love him. I have great memories of Jim Rockford and my husband still loves to catch his reruns on television. You understand why these women are both in love with him. He is irresistible. He still is. Just watch “The Notebook” and see if he’s lost that charm.
It is a great story, a remake of “My Favorite Wife”. Ellen Arden has been missing and presumed dead for five years. After waiting her husband Nick has her declared dead and moments later is married. He doesn’t know that his wife has just been rescued by a naval ship and is on her way home. She follows him to his honeymoon and gets the room next door to the bridal suite.

It starts a chain reaction of half truths, near misses and fun. There is the new wife, the guy that was stranded on the island with Ellen who happens to be in love with her too. A mother in law with a clear favorite in the wife race and finally two little girls who think their mother is dead. There is a great cameo by Don Knotts as a shoe salesman pulled into mix.
This has everything I love about this type of comedy from the early sixties. Especially all the innuendo. They talk about sex without ever saying the words. Ellen won’t let Nick into her bed until he gets rid of the other wife. The other wife is doing all she can to get her marriage consummated. Nick ends up falling off the building and in a full body cast to avoid breaking the news.

Finally the ending is happy. Ellen is desolate and sure Nick has left her. Her mother in law forces her to go into the back yard and tell her children who she is. As she enters the yard her daughter pops up in the pool and says “Hello Mommy”. Then her other daughter does the same thing. Then Nick pops up smiling that Rockford smile. She jumps fully clothed into the pool and we leave the happy family playing together.
It is a nice way to spend a Sunday morning.

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