14 February 2018 | HotToastyRag
Needless Remake of 'The Lady Eve'
The Birds and the Bees is a remake of The Lady Eve, Preston Sturge's screwball comedy starring Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda. It's incredibly similar to the original, so much so that I struggle to understand why they bothered remaking it at all. Audiences who liked the original wouldn't want to mess with perfection, and audiences who didn't like it wouldn't want to give it another chance. I belong to the latter category, and the only reason I sat through this movie is because I love David Niven so much.
David Niven and Mitzi Gaynor are a father-daughter con-team who usually swindle their victims out of money through cheating at cards. Their next target is the bumbling, fumbling fool, George Gobel. But what happens when Mitzi starts to fall in love with him? A more important question is, perhaps, what is the world coming to when David Niven gets third billing in a Mitzi Gaynor movie?
I detested the original; it's an absolute insult to Barbara Stanwyck's talent that it's one of her most famous films. Mitzi adds nothing to the role in the remake. Half the time she's trying to imitate Marilyn Monroe, and the other half she's trying to act like a teenaged Shirley Temple. Gobel gives his best Tommy Smothers impression-or Tommy Smothers got his inspiration from Gobel. I never thought I'd long for Henry Fonda's wooden delivery and bored, slightly frustrated attitude, but Gobel drove me to it. I can't imagine anyone falling in love with him, but I suppose the movies are full of suspensions of disbelief. There's really no reason to watch this remake. Not even if you love David Niven.