Tax collector Lorenzo Charlton comes to the Larkins' farm to ask why Pop Larkins hasn't paid his back taxes. Charlton has to stay for a day to try to estimate the income from the farm, but it isn't easy to calculate when the farmer has such a lovely daughter, Mariette...Written by
Debbie Reynolds and Tony Randall are an Odd Couple
Rambunctious Debbie Reynolds (as Mariette Larkin) gets the urge to mate with tax collector Tony Randall (as Lorenzo Charlton). And, he wants to mate with her! - How? - Well, farming father Paul Douglas (as Sidney "Pa" Larkin) doesn't pay taxes; he trades things, and raises piglets. Maryland "Ma" Una Merkel raises children, and bakes blueberry pies. Ms. Reynolds rides a pig into wealthy neighbor Philip Ober (as Wendell Burnshaw)'s mansion, prompting Mr. Ober to summon Mr. Randall from the IRS (Internal Revenue Service). Will Randall collect taxes, Reynolds, or both?
Reynolds and Randall are not a very convincing romantic couple. They should have considered casting, perhaps, Sandra Dee and Troy Donahue. Randall dances a drunken melody of "Frère Jacques" / "I've Got You Under My Skin". This is followed by an impossibly implausible (even for this type of film) implied sex scene, with Reynolds. Director George Marshall gives it an appropriate feature-length "sit-com" treatment; but, the material makes the increasing slapstick more painful than funny (witness the "barn" fight scene). The supporting cast, with its old pros and fresh faces, is a treasure trove, however.
***** The Mating Game (4/29/59) George Marshall ~ Debbie Reynolds, Tony Randall, Paul Douglas, Una Merkel
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