Toni Simmons believes that the only reason her married lover won't leave his wife is because of the children. In truth, her lover, dentist Julian Winston, doesn't have any children. In fact, Julian doesn't even have a wife - he just tells women he does to avoid getting involved. When Julian does decide to take the plunge with Toni she insists on meeting the first wife and Julian enlists the aid of his long-time nurse/receptionist Stephanie Dickinson to play the part. Written by
Breezy, witty fun-filled comedy from the Broadway hit...
When I saw LAUREN BACALL do CACTUS FLOWER on Broadway, I never dreamed that one day I would see an actress like INGRID BERGMAN playing the Bacall role on screen. But here Ingrid really lets her hair down for some good comedy moments as the dental nurse pretending to be WALTER MATTHAU's wife so he can go on with the fib he's told GOLDIE HAWN.
It's a story played for laughs from beginning to end, good-humored stuff that never runs out of dry humor and wit throughout its running time. There are plenty of one-liners or gags that are way above the usual situation comedy stuff one hears on TV--the lines ring true because they blend so well with the characters and their motives.
As the daffy girl who contemplates (in the beginning) committing suicide over her unhappy affair with Matthau, GOLDIE HAWN (fresh from her days as a star on TV's "Laugh In") does a dumb blonde role to perfection. Easy to see why she won that Supporting Actress Oscar.
Ingrid is surprisingly fetching in a rare comedy role, although there are times when she seems just a bit too matronly for the part. At any rate, she's a surprising choice to play the nurse who puts on a freeze act at the office but is considerably warmer off duty.
As Goldie's next door neighbor, Igor, Rick Lenz acquits himself admirably, and makes a suitable match for her in that final scene.
Matthau plays the kind of character that became his stock in trade in all those Neil Simon roles he had--a lovable cad who gets caught up in his own messes when he tells lie after lie.
It's the kind of rib-tickling comedy that'll have you laughing out loud at some of the amusing lines that Abe Burrows and I.A.L. Diamond have managed to scrap together, based on a French farce.
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