Sunday, September 26, 2010

Doris Day builds her dream house

I'm always worried about doing a repeat full-length post on a movie I've already blogged about. However, both Blogger's search function, and Google, claim that I haven't blogged about Please Don't Eat the Daisies, airing this evening at 6:00 PM ET.

Doris Day stars as Kate Mackay, the wife of prominent New York theater critic Larry Mackay (David Niven). They live together with their four bratty sons in an apartment that's getting too small for the six of them. Sound like a familiar plot? To add to all this, Kate is jealous, thinking that too many actresses are making eyes at her husband. So, she gets the brilliant idea to move the family out to Connecticut.

What could go wrong? Well, if you've seen the movie Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House you can probably guess, although the house the Mackays buy isn't nearly as decrepit as what Cary Grant's Mr. Blandings bought. Meanwhile, there's conflict between husband, who would rather have stayed in the city, and wife, who is beginning to find that life in the country isn't quite as good as she had first imagined. She tries to throw herself into the local life, helped by one of her husband's rivals: before becoming a critic, Larry was a failed playwright. Producer Richard Haydn knows this, and when Larry criticizes one of Haydn's plays, Haydn convinces Kate to do a school production of one of Larry's horrid plays from years back.

Please Don't Eat the Daisies is a gentler comedy than Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, in that it doesn't depend on the construction humor to anywhere near the extent that Cary Grant and Myrna Loy do. Instead, this is a more mature comedy about a couple who have a real conflict over what life should bring them. I'm normally not a fan of Doris Day, but she's quite good and believable here. David Niven, of course, was understated in a role like this where he's playing the foil, something he's just as good at doing as Day was at her thing. It's not a particularly special movie, but it's more than nice enough.

Please Don't Eat the Daisies has also been released to DVD.

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