In one of his novels, British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli makes a comment about people who make a career as "critics". He says they are people who failed in writing, acting, painting, and the arts in general. And that viewpoint has been the normal one that critics have faced throughout history. Aristophanes makes fun of them in one comedy where he has to have either Euripides or Aeschylus return from the dead to save Greek drama (Sophocles agrees not to get into the contest - he'll remain to take care of drama in the underworld!). So it goes through literature, particularly drama. Possibly the best spoof is Richard Sheridans' under produced comedy THE CRITIC, which is one of the funniest spoofs of playwriting in theater.
The movies have not helped the love-hate image of critics. Look at such examples as Addison DeWitt in ALL ABOUT EVE, or Waldo Lydecker in LAURA. One is a cynical snake at times,and the other a killer. But Addison (based somewhat on the great George Jean Nathan) does have a good critical brain, and when you listen to his comments on theater they are enlightening. Moreover, he is the one who brings the really bad Eve Harrington to heel finally. As for Waldo, he does misuse his powers as an all-around critic (note how he attacks an artist named Jacoby when the latter starts dating Laura), but his comments have validity (we even see Laura laughing while reading the column. Waldo (based on Alexander Woolcott) is an intelligent critic, but egocentric, and sexually a mess (he's obviously gay, but deeply attracted to his female friend and protégée). He also is a first rate judge of character - note how he and the detective (MacPherson) end up agreeing about what a weak creep the socialite Shelby is.
PLEASE DON'T EAT THE DAISYS was based on a novel by Jean Kerr, the wife of the critic for the Herald Tribune Walter Kerr (best remembered now for his excellent study THE SILENT CLOWNS about Chaplin, Keaton, Lloyd, Arbuckle, and the rest). Using her own family for the models of the novel, Kerr tells the story of critic Lawrence Mackay (David Niven), his wife Kate (Doris Day), their four sons, and dog, and how they face two momentous events: Lawrence's move to be chief Broadway critic on his newspaper, and their forced move to a suburban house.
As another comment on this thread pointed out there is a plot theme borrowed from GEORGE WASHINGTON SLEPT HERE and MR. BLANDINGS BUILDS IS DREAM HOUSE about the problems about renovating an old house and making it livable again. This problem is compounded by Lawrence letting his new position go to is head. He is constantly returning to New York City either to go to plays, or to give lectures on the drama. Kate, of course, ends up having to watch the boys with her mother (Spring Byington) and her maid (Patsy Kelly), as well as getting the right furnishings for the house. This is not conducive to maintaining good relations between husband and wife.
On top of this, Lawrence becomes very self-important. His mother has sent him a young man (Jack Weston) who has just written a play, figuring that Lawrence can give him some tips. In his smuggest way, Niven's Lawrence manages to turn the friendly Weston into a disgusted acquaintance by questioning not the structure or scenes or characters, but the choice of subject for the play (it's a biblical story). Worse, Lawrence treats his old producer friend Alfred North (Richard Haydn) scurvily by giving an "honest" opinion about a new comic review of his, starring a sexually hot actress Deborah Vaughn (Janis Page). The review takes it's author's view of the stage too highly, forgetting that the production was light-hearted, not Ibsen or Becket but Feydeau.
Both producer and star want revenge - Vaughn slapping Lawrence in the face in a restaurant, and North thinking of showing off the truth about the critic's abilities. Chance plays into North's hands. Kate gets involved in an amateur acting group in their new community, and North sends her a play that they can do (only altering one detail: Lawrence wrote the play years earlier, and North changes the author's name). So the acting group (with Kate as star) practice and prepare to show the dismal work, which North intends to reveal as the work of Lawrence - but only after all the other leading critics of the other newspapers are on hand to see opening night!
Yes it is a nightmare for a real critic - and Niven's Lawrence handles it...well as it should be handled.
The production of the film is good, with nice set pieces. The "vampire" like lady shown the Mackays' apartment while they are caught unprepared (the building manager is left only with saying, "Poor Mr. Mackay...Poor Mrs. Mackay"), who is tough enough to not care if she puts everyone else on the street. Or the problems of Lawrence trying to break into his own house when everyone's asleep. It is a fine comedy, and certainly one of Day and Niven's best films (and the only one they ever made together).
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