16 June 2005 | ccmiller1492
"Light" comedy sinks like a lead weight
This "light" comedy sinks like a lead weight, but interestingly enough it conveys a great deal about American post-war social mores and trends. Scott and Smith ( both better cast elsewhere in stylish noirs)are immediately identified with some contempt as exemplars of "those stubborn people who insist on inhabiting large urban centers (like New York) just to prove it can be done." Smith is a frustrated housewife immensely bored, unable to think of anything to do but go back to work which her husband won't allow despite her demeaning wheedling. If he would allow it, people would think he is unable to support her. Meanwhile he is trying to get a former female military friend appointed as his assistant manager. When Smith, the wife, happens upon the two at a business luncheon she automatically assumes her husband has been having an ongoing affair with the woman. The ensuing reversals of unfunny awkwardness has both husband and wife alternately whimpering childishly for forgiveness or spitefully and childishly thwarting/disowning the other. It's easy to see why these two have no children and it has nothing to do with their Hays code separate beds. They are just too busy being children themselves. This unattractive pattern of married life was immortalized in the 50's on TV with the moronic baby-talking Lucy vs. the hotheaded petty tyrant Desi, a formula which long outstayed its welcome if not its popularity. Doubtlessly when this rather slavishly conforming couple joins the imminent exodus to what will become the stultifyingly homogenous suburbia their offspring, if any, would be among the first refugees heading for Haight-Ashbury.