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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

How Sweet It Is (1968)

When a photographer (James Garner) gets an assignment to shoot a group of teenage girls on a European tour (Mexico subs for the French Riviera), he brings along his wife (Debbie Reynolds) and teenage son (Donald Losby). But when a Frenchman (Maurice Ronet), notorious for his reputation as a lothario, plots to seduce the wife, complications ensue. If there's such a thing as a wholesome sex comedy for the whole family, this is it. The film comes across as an attempt to turn Reynolds' wholesome image around: see Debbie naked in bed with James Garner, see Debbie in a skimpy bikini, see Debbie mistaken for a prostitute, etc. while never being offensive. Garner and Reynolds are exceedingly appealing performers and match well together so it's a pity that this tarted up sitcom was their only on screen pairing. Sensing that the material won't hold up under close scrutiny, the director Jerry Paris zips things amiably along. The songs are by Jimmy Webb. Based on the novel THE GIRL IN THE TURQUOISE BIKINI by Muriel Resnick (ANY WEDNESDAY). With Terry Thomas, Paul Lynde, Elena Verdugo, Alexandra Hay, Marcel Dalio, Ann Morgan Guilbert and Penny Marshall.

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