Surprisingly charming
9 December 2003
This obscurity (listed in very few books) showed up on Canada's Drive-In Classics channel and I taped it for its vintage, fully expecting a smirky bedroom farce with the usual sophomoric Hefner Era attitudes toward women. Pleasantly, it turns out that it's way closer in spirit to "Alfie" than Matt Helm, a lightweight and easy-going comedy about an aging New York playboy (William Traylor) and his search for genuine love.

In a funny reversal of the day's standards, the bouffanted Dior-clad beauties he dates (and not always beds) consistently have the upperhand, more often than not pulling the old "triple-f" on this suave and urbane swordsman-in-a-tux, finding him not good enough and discarding him. The title volume itself tells his story in flashback, and it's being read on the sly by his rich and elegant bride-to-be, and one wonders how much of her outrage is moral indignation, and how much is disappointment. His male poker buddies (including a young Dom Deluise) are losers at the romance game and hold him in awe, little knowing what a hopeless case he actually is. The finale, while not bitterly ironic, has a funny sense of the inevitable.

No "forgotten masterpiece", but a diverting little nugget that deserves an audience. Crisp and lovely B&W photography captures early 60s NYC, and the cars, decor and fashions are pure eye candy. Also, the acting and characterizations are quite solid, from a script by Freddie Francis.
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