Thursday, April 5, 2012

Another night of Doris Day comedies

TCM's week-long salute to Doris Day has several 1960s comedies tonight, starting at 8:00 PM with previous recommendation Please Don't Eat the Daisies. As I said in 2010, it's nice enough. Another comedy that's nice, but rather more inane, is The Glass Bottom Boat, which airs at midnight tonight.

Doris Day plays Jennifer, whom we see at the start of the movie working for her father's tourism business, playing a mermaid who swims under Dad's titular glass-bottomed boat for the tourists to see. Unfortunately, her costume gets hooked by recreational fisherman Bruce (Rod Taylor). It turns out the two have something in common besides being out to sea that day: Jennifer is an employee at the aerospace company Bruce runs. The only thing is, there's a problem at the company: they're doing defense work, but it seems as there's a mole somewhere in the company trying to pass secrets to the Soviets. Jennifer's getting close to Bruce, combined with some other misunderstandings, such as Jennifer's constantly making phone calls to a mysterious "Vladimir" (who turns out to be her dog), lead to her being suspected as the spy.

The problem that The Glass Bottom Boat has is that it's formulaic fluff. After the release of Doctor No, the first James Bond movie, both spy thrillers and spoofs became popular genres in the decade. Indeed, both of our leads here made another movie that could be considered a spy spoof: Taylor's The Liquidator, and Day's Caprice. Unfortunately, one of the drawbacks is that a lot of these movies now come across as rather severely dated. (Granted, it's not the moviemakers' fault that the USSR collapsed.) Also, you know that Day and Taylor's characters are going to fall in love, but thankfully they're both good enough at fluff that they pull off the romantic part well. And particular to The Glass Bottom Boat, and unlike The Liquidator or Caprice, the bad guys just aren't believable enough to cause the requisite tension.

Still, The Glass Bottom Boat is entertaining enough, especially if you're a fan of Doris Day or Robert Taylor. Both did much better work, however.

No comments: