By Richard Winters
My Rating: 2 out of 10
4-Word Review: Fooling around with stewardesses.
Bernard (Tony Curtis) thinks he’s come up with the perfect plan where as a confirmed bachelor he can enjoy the ‘benefits’ of a relationship without ever having to take the ultimate plunge. Using the timetables of all the airlines he has devised a way where he can date three different stewardesses (Dany Saval, Christiane Schmidtmer, Suzanna Leigh) simultaneously without any of them knowing of the other ones. When one of them is on layover from their flights they come over to his pad for romance and passion and then promptly leave for their jobs only to have another one arrive from another layover. It works for a while before the expected complications ensue. Things get even worse when Bernard’s out-of-town friend Robert (Jerry Lewis) arrives and wants to get in on the action while Bertha (Thelma Ritter) Bernard’s long suffering maid feels that she’s had enough and wants to quit.
The flimsy premise kills itself from the beginning by having a main character that is unlikable. I’m as open-minded as the next person, but if one wants to enjoy the swinger’s lifestyle then they must be open and honest with their partner(s) for it to work. This guy lies to them at every turn, manipulates with their emotions and views them solely as sexual playthings for his own pleasure, which is about as callous and self-centered as they come. His scheme is full of potential holes and any halfway intelligent person would’ve known it wouldn’t work and avoided even attempting it from the start.
The women are portrayed as being painfully naïve and stupid and falling for every pathetic lie and story that the men tell them. I was hoping at some point they would wise up and turn-the-tables, which would’ve been really funny, but that never happens. Instead the viewer gets treated to one ‘madcap’ scheme after another as they try desperately to keep their ridiculous ploy going, which becomes tiring and annoyingly redundant.
The three actresses at least have some acting ability and aren’t just the usual wide-eyed models mouthing their lines, which helps a little. Ritter certainly makes for a good anchor, but even she becomes stifled by the story’s derivative theme. Lewis surprisingly is the best thing about the film and this is mainly due to the fact that he is much more restrained and not allowed to fall into his over-the-top shtick.
Based on the stage play by Marc Camoletti this thing might’ve at one time been considered a fresh and funny bedroom farce, but by today’s standards it is tame and dated and not good for even a few chuckles.
My Rating: 2 out of 10
Released: December 22, 1965
Runtime: 1Hour 42Minutes
Director: John Rich
Available: DVD, Amazon Instant Video, YouTube