Paul Newman can do a lot of things. He can write (HARRY AND SON), he can direct (RACHEL, RACHEL), he can produce, and he can act, but he is a total dud when it comes to comedy, as proven by RALLY ROUND THE FLAG, BOYS (before this) and THE SECRET WAR OF HARRY FRIGG (afterward). So it
should come as no surprise that this film fell flatter than Twiggy's bodice. Shavelson (who tripled as writer-producer-director) tried everything to lift it, including having Sinatra sing the 32-year-old title song, but it didn't help this flop, the fifth pairing of Newman and Woodward, vainly
attempting to be Paramount's version of Universal's Doris Day and Rock Hudson. Newsman Newman goes to Paris to cover a fashion show (see costume credits) and meets Woodward on the plane. She is with Tobias and Ritter, and all three work for a New York department store. Their job is to steal the
fashions and put them out in popular-priced versions. He's drunk, she's somewhat masculine, and they don't seem to like each other. After their arrival, Woodward goes to the St. Catherine's Day festival, where single women pray to be married. Woodward gets drunk, and goes to a local beauty salon,
where she is outfitted with a glamorous wig to cover her short hair. Meanwhile, lovelorn Ritter disappointedly watches Tobias fall into the clutches of Gabor, the store's local contact. Newman picks up Woodward, doesn't know who she is, and thinks she's a courtesan. She lies about her life as the
Parisian Princess of Prostitution and Newman swallows it; he writes up a story, and it's an instant circulation booster for his paper. As they fall in love, Newman catches on that she's the ugly duckling he met in the first reel. Gabor dumps Tobias, who goes back to Ritter. Newman and Woodward
wind up a pair at the finale. Maurice Chevalier does a cameo and sings snatches of "Mimi" and "Louise," but it's all too late and too little to help this tasteless farce. Leith Stevens was nominated for an Oscar for his score, and Edith Head for her costumes. Some sharp lines of dialog, a few too
many camera tricks, and a general feeling of going-through-the-motions. Filmed in New York, Paris, and Hollywood.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: Paul Newman can do a lot of things. He can write (HARRY AND SON), he can direct (RACHEL, RACHEL), he can produce, and he can act, but he is a total dud when it comes to comedy, as proven by RALLY ROUND THE FLAG, BOYS (before this) and THE SECRET WAR OF HAR… (more)
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