DVD. Second Sight.
nothing else, this new DVD issue of Do Not Disturb
has at least answered a question that nagged at the back of my
mind for years – namely, what was the film I saw
as a child that opened with an American woman (understandably)
confused by pre-decimal British currency? This, it turns out,
is the film, which relocates Doris Day’s fluffy brand of
innocent sex comedy to Britain, but otherwise is business as usual.
Here, Day is Janet Taylor, newly relocated to the English countryside
thanks to husband Mike (Rod Taylor) and his new job as a wool
executive. While Mike works hard in the apparently cut-throat
and glamorous world of wool sales, Janet becomes increasingly
fed up waiting for him to come home to dinner, and is convinced
he is having an affair with his secretary. In order to make him
jealous, she invents a secret admirer, but things are complicated
when the real thing appears in the form of smooth continental
antique dealer Paul Bellari (Sergio Fantoni), who whisks her off
to Paris in search of home furnishings.
Like most of Day’s films, this is a lightweight tale of
misunderstandings and marital discord that you know will all be
sorted out by the end of the story. No one is actually misbehaving
(thought you rather suspect Day would, if given more of a chance)
and the comedy comes from people jumping to conclusions, and from
Day’s fish-out-of-water life in England (allowing a few
digs at British eccentricity).
seems miscast as a romantic comedy lead. He was far more suited
to action-man roles than this, and even taking into account the
story, he seems continually angry and on the verge of violence
– though the irritatingly ditzy behaviour of his wife would,
I imagine, be enough to try the calmest of men. But I would’ve
liked to see how this story would pan out with one of Day’s
more usual leads like Rock Hudson or James Garner, who could resort
to fisticuffs when the need arose, but were more convincing as
exasperated, confused men.
Day herself could, by this time, play this sort of role in her
sleep, and does her usual solid job. A scene in which she wears
a gold dress and becomes the object of desire for every man at
a party is a bit overplayed, given the stunning glamour girls
also in attendance – Day was never convincing as a sex symbol.
She seems far more comfortable as the good-hearted, wholesome
housewife determined to live a life of domestic bliss out in the
If you are not a fan of this sort of thing, Do Not Disturb
is hardly going to be the film to change your mind. But if you
have a love of innocent Sixties sex comedies, then this should
work as a satisfying snack between the rather more substantial
meals of Day’s better films like Move
Over Darling or Pillow Talk.
IT NOW (UK)
IT NOW (USA)