Disappointing counter-culture comedy suffers from a miscast Dick Van Dyke
13 July 2019
An obscure comedy that bombed in movie theaters in 1969, SOME KIND OF A NUT follows the plight of Fred Amidon (Dick Van Dyke), a Manhattan bank teller caught up in a divorce from Rachel (Angie Dickinson) while planning a future with a new fiancée, Pamela (Rosemary Forsyth). The movie opens with Fred and Pamela picnicking in Central Park and encountering a bee that stings Fred on the chin. Fred grows a beard to cover the bee sting, which his boss objects to and demands that he shave it off. Fred refuses, taking a stand after a lifetime of conforming to other people's demands. After he is fired, co-workers go on strike and Fred is soon joined by hippies and jazz musicians with beards. Garson Kanin's very lightweight "anti-Establishment " comedy begins well but quickly wanes with its one-joke plot, descending into mediocre slapstick despite a few zany comedic moments. SOME KIND OF A NUT suffers from a badly miscast Dick Van Dyke, who often defaults to his broad brand of physical comedy when a more low-key approach was clearly needed. Angie Dickinson is totally wasted here, while Rosemary Forsyth does what she can with an unsympathetic character. Much of the intended hilarity falls flat, as in scenes when Pamela's brothers attempt to shave off Fred's beard. Only Zohra Lambert hits a proper note of goofiness as an overage "hippie" enamored of Fred's cause for independence from traditional values.
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