Ella Peterson is a Brooklyn telephone answering service operator who tries to improve the lives of her clients by passing along bits of information she hears from other clients. She falls ... See full summary »
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Florence and Chet Keefer have had a troublesome marriage. Whilst in the middle of a divorce hearing the judge encourages them to remember the good times they have had hoping that the ... See full summary »
Actor Jason Steele plays a caring, godlike doctor on television. Off the set, he's the insecure fiancee of Melissa, a pretty art teacher. Jason doesn't know what to expect of marriage, ... See full summary »
After eight years of marriage, Robert and Nina divorce. He takes up with his womanising Navy buddy Charlie Nelson while she looks to her interfering mother for guidance. Both start dating ... See full summary »
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Ella Peterson is a Brooklyn telephone answering service operator who tries to improve the lives of her clients by passing along bits of information she hears from other clients. She falls in love with one of her clients, the playwright Jeffrey Moss, and is determined to meet him. The trouble is, on the phone to him, she always pretends to be an old woman whom he calls "Mom." Written by
Made late in the cycle of great MGM musicals, with the reliable producer-director combo of Arthur Freed and Vincente Minnelli, this is a fairly clunky adaptation of a Broadway hit. Despite some location filming, it looks stagebound, and the stylized playing and jerrybuilt musical-comedy plot look false as hell. Some excellent musical numbers from the original are badly truncated or left out entirely, and what's left is grotesquely over-orchestrated. One senses that Minnelli, in particular, didn't trust the material--look at how quickly he dispenses with the "Mu-Cha-Cha" number, seemingly embarrassed by its musical-comedy silliness--and the supporting cast seems to be playing to the second balcony.
That's the bad news; now we get, thank heaven, to Judy Holliday. Having played this part on Broadway for two years and toured with it longer, she looks amazingly spontaneous. Given her health problems at the time, she looks happy and healthy. And while we can't expect to experience her legendary warmth and charisma as stage audiences did, it's an incomparable performance. Every reaction, every inflection, every seemingly improvised movement rings true and lends depth and poignancy to a paper-thin character traipsing around in a contrived plot. What a lesson for any young actor in transforming everyday material into something memorable. My favorite moment comes early, when she's reclining on a sofa and looks up dreamily and starts singing, a capella and with perfect naturalism, "I'm in love..." I'm in love, too, Judy. We miss you.
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