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4 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Billy knew best
on 10 April 2008
The divine Marilyn is the real reason to see this fairly clumsy comedy, since her male lead Tom Ewell is a decent likeable jobbing actor but no movie star, in spite of having apparently starred in the theatre version of the play. He can't, as they say, carry the picture, and it's tragic to read that Billy Wilder tested, and wanted, the young Walter Matthau for the part, but was over-ruled by the studio, since Matthau wasn't a name at the time. Matthau and Monroe, now there would have been a five star combination. When Monroe is on screen the whole thing takes off, but in between, the long scenes with Ewell alone indulging his jokey sexual fantasies are clunky and one-note and haven't worn well with time. That there is no sexual chemistry whatever between the stars presumably worked well at the time for the Hays code- the theatrical version has the couple actually getting it together, but the film keeps the sex within the male character's fevered imagination. A missed opportunity, and as usual the director's casting could have made this a comic masterpiece, but the studio's intervention turned it into a now dated but watchable curiosity. Watchable, because inevitably the screen lights up every time Marilyn appears.