A. J. Niles is the author of a series of 'Bachelor Books'. These books describe the romantic life of a bachelor in various cities of the world. But when he runs into trouble with the I.R.S.... See full summary »
A. J. Niles is the author of a series of 'Bachelor Books'. These books describe the romantic life of a bachelor in various cities of the world. But when he runs into trouble with the I.R.S. for back taxes, he needs to write another book fast, to pay them. His publisher decides a book about life in the American suburbs would be a hit, and settles him into Paradise Cove. One bachelor plus lonely housewives equals many angry husbands. Written by
Brian W Martz <B.Martz@Genie.com>
Ginnie! Does your mother know you're reading this trash?!
I don't know why I love this movie so much but I do. It's certainly no cinematic masterpiece, but if you're of a certain age it's an awfully pleasant way to spend a couple of hours.
***FYI: Catch this one on Turner Classic Movies if you can, they air it in its correct wide-screen format.
I cannot imagine any other actor who could play A.J. Niles as effectively as Bob Hope. Mr. Niles, an internationally traveled author of Kensey-type books on the sex lives of the inhabitants of various European nations, finds himself confined to the United States as a condition of his quasi-probation for unintentional tax evasion that was actually committed by his now missing accountant. "I just can't believe that Herman Whoppinger is dishonest!" The plot line is amusing and clever, if predictable, but its predictability really only enforces the comforting effect this film will have on the average baby boomer who once lived in that clean fresh little white-bread world and misses it. Mr. Niles is then sent to 1961 suburbia by his manager to write a similar book about the sex lives of Middle America, and here he runs across real estate broker Rosemary Howard, played by impeccably groomed Lana Turner. Ms. Turner, easily one of the five most beautiful women of the American cinema, is still stunning at 40.
Once Rosemary puts A.J. into her gigantic airplane-shaped Plymouth and drives him into the real estate development of Paradise Village, the baby boomer viewer will be transported back to a much happier time in our history. With the exception of the mountainous terrain visible in the background, Paradise Village could be Anywhere USA. Those houses. Those stores. Those clothes! If your mom wore little white gloves and teetered around on pencil heels, you know what I'm talking about. You can almost smell the clean suburban night air, the flowers in the back yard, and the burgers cooking on a neighbor's grill, and you never want to leave.
Aside from this, the cast, including Paula Prentiss, Janis Paige, Virginia Grey, and the priceless Reta Shaw turn in a capable performance with a witty script packed with all the anticipated nudge'n'wink humor of the early sixties sexless bedroom comedies. Replete with the tired old saws of an over-sudsing washing machine, the judgmental neighborhood busybody, colossal misunderstandings, and people getting drunk and acting stupid, you will probably smile a good deal more than you'll laugh out loud, but the story still manages to put these ingredients into a somewhat original arrangement and there is enough genuine chemistry between Hope and Turner to keep you interested and concerned for the outcome of the characters.
Perhaps the best compliment I can give this pleasing film is that in our home, where we have enormous love and respect for old films, this one stands up to repeated viewings and gets watched over and over again. It's a delightful way to spend a rainy evening.
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