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Carl Brown and Annie McGairy are in love. Their Irish immigrant parents knew each other in the old country - and Carl's parents want better for their son than Annie, who was raised in the slums. When Annie runs away to marry Carl while he's at college, they have many difficulties, including a college Dean that frowns upon married couples, Carl's angry parents, Carl's jealousy, and Annie's own problems with her sexuality. Written by
Gary Dickerson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
It's hard to sit down and enjoy 1965's "Joy in the Morning," a sentimental and melodramatic story about young marriage, without putting the film in context.
If you were a prepubescent girl or teen in the '60s, Richard Chamberlain was one of your dream men in the same way that girls adore Zac Efron now and my mother swooned over Tyrone Power. You had an intern shirt, you had the .45 of "Three Stars Will Shine Tonight" (The Theme from Dr. Kildare" with "Joy in the Morning" on the flip side), and you read fan magazines. And no one who watched "Dr. Kildare" can forget Yvette Mimieux's guest appearance on the show. I can still see her in the final scene of that episode.
So watching "Joy in the Morning," which might be considered a mawkish movie by some, is a trip down memory lane for us. It's about two young people from different social strata who get married and try to make it both financially and as a couple while the man is still in law school. It's actually a sweet story with some good performances - certainly an earnest one from Chamberlain, and from Oscar Homolka, Sidney Blackmer, and Donald Davis (as the "sissy" florist). Petite and beautiful Mimieux was one of the big '60s ingénues, and she does fine, though the character admittedly can get a little annoying. The Bernard Herrmann score, reminiscent of his music in "Vertigo," is instantly recognizable as Herrmann and very good.
Judging this film as if it's supposed to be "Citizen Kane" is like judging "High School Musical" on the same level as "No Country for Old Men." In its day, "Joy in the Morning," with Richard Chamberlain taking off his shirt, making out with Yvette Mimieux and talking about sex was geared toward young girls just learning the facts of life, and hoping that someone like Richard Chamberlain would teach them. Knowing the reality of that dashed hope today doesn't change the innocent memories that it brings back.
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