Yes, folks, rejoice – Move Over Darling finally makes its DVD debut for hungry Doris Day fans.
Some men might like the idea of having two wives. And whilst you
might start contemplating the benefits of a double spouse scenario, two
adoring women tending to the needs of one man, have a heart for James Garner’s character in Move Over Darling in which he quickly finds out it also means nagging in stereo.
Nicholas Arden (Garner) decides to marry neurotic girlfriend Bianca (Bergen) after his missing wife Ellen (Day)
is declared legally dead after a boat accident in the Pacific five
years previously. As the newly-weds set off to ‘cement’ their union on
their honeymoon, Ellen turns up, having been rescued after being
shipwrecked on a desert island. With the news of her recently betrothed
husband, and the help of her mother-in-law (the hilarious Thelma Ritter),
she is determined to stop the couple from doing the dirty and claim
back her man and her life. Once Nicholas finds out that Ellen is still
very much alive, he proves that he really is a a one-woman man. The
problem is, he just has to find a way to tell his new missus that she’s
going to the curb. This is where the fun begins. How long will he be
able to hold off his sexually-frustrated, self-absorbed new wife until
he has the courage to break her heart?
A scene-by-scene remake of the 1940 comedy My Favorite Wife (starring Cary Grant and Irene Dunne), if you’re up for a bit of cheesy 60s screwball comedy, this is it in spades. The movie was originally intended for Marilyn Monroe,
entitled Something’s Got to Give, and is infamous for being the sex
siren’s last film. Fired by C20th Fox, due to her absence of 17 out of
30 shooting days, leading man Dean Martin subsequently quits and
the film was put on the shelf until the decision was made to redo with a
whole new cast. A few re-writes (Sam and Bella Spewack), the sugary
Doris Day is spared the naked swimming pool scene that Marilyn had
previously shot – something that no major Hollywood actress had done
before. Monroe was dead only a few months later, at 36, having spent her
last birthday as her final day on the Something’s Got to Give set.
The, then, Hollywood comedy darling, Ms Day, oozes with charisma and
tickles that funny bone that earnt her a Golden Globe nomination for
Best Actress for what was to be her last big hit. However, it has to be
said, the whole cast put on a fine performance. The only flaw in the
film is the lack of character development of Bianca – whom Nicholas is
willing to giving the boot when he realizes Ellen is back on the scene.
She is not painted as a particularly unpleasant character and as a
result is a victim for no reason of her own doing. The film would have
been better served by painting her as a gold-digger or wicked
stepmother. Still, Move Over Darling has some very funny scenes which
stands the test of time, quite a feat for over half a decade, and is
certainly a must for Doris Day fans.