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  • Warning: Spoilers
    I have read so many negative comments about this movie and I don't know why. It's fresh, funny, and very entertaining. David Niven is well cast as the ambitious New York critic dreaming of higher social circles and a house in the suburbs. The story is loosely based on the experiences of author Jean Kerr as she juggled children and a profession. She was also married to New York drama critic John Kerr.

    Janis Paige is a natural as the Broadway vixen with eyes for Niven. And Richard Haydn is excellent as the urbane Broadway producer and agent for Paige who sets out to settle the score with Niven after Niven's negative theatrical review of his musical. Haydin devilishly tries to let the air out of Niven's inflated ego by getting Day to stage one of Niven's college theatrical stinkbombs, but Niven beats everyone to the punch and admits to it in his column. As for Doris Day--she's colorful, exuberant, and as appealing as ever. Besides the title song PLEASE DON'T EAT THE DAISIES, she reprises one of her huge 1950's hits QUE, SERA SERA in a quaint Italian restaurant to Niven.

    Perhaps the best scene in the movie is the confrontation between Day and Niven when Niven learns that Haydn has tricked Day into using one of his old college scripts for a church production. When Niven realizes what is happening, he explodes and refuses to allow his play to be produced. Day lays into Niven for his insensitive and self-centered attitude--the result of his new-found celebrity as a New York drama critic. The exchange between them in the school auditorium truly showcases the polished side of Day's dramatic talent.

    PLEASE DON'T EAT THE DAISIES does not pretend to be anything more than what it is: a light-hearted comedy about a wholesome family adjusting to the country as children, mother-in-law, and New York social life become gremlins working against a married couple's bliss. But DAISIES is also an entertaining pastiche from an era when the worst things that happened to a family meant scrambling for the right baby sitter and dealing with the serendipity of transplanting to the suburbs.

    Dennis Caracciolo
  • Although made in 1960, this classic sampling of Doris Day fluff is more a product of the 50s than the coming decade of the 60s. As ever, Miss Day is gorgeous and perfectly turned out, this time the mother of four small boys, an aspiring playwright overshadowed by her theater critic husband, coping with a series of domestic crises while she attempts to move her family from a city apartment to an improbably ramshackle English-style country house. 'Improbable' is indeed the word for the entire plot of this movie, but then probability was seldom the reason we went to the movies in the 50s. Bouyed along by the bright force of Miss Day's personality, the light touch and easy charm of David Niven, and ably supported by Janice Paige, Spring Byington, and Richard Haydn, this pic has all the bouncy sweetness and escapism her fans so appreciate in Miss Day's work. So, if you are looking for a 2-hour time trip to what seems like a kinder and gentler time, don't mind bumping your nose against a few cultural idiosyncrasies of the 50s (and no Day fan can avoid that), enjoy discovering some charming but forgotten musical numbers, appreciate really great vintage clothes, and generally believe it is hard for Miss Day to do any wrong, this seldom-mentioned film is just the ticket!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I've seen the screenwriter Isobel Lennart's name on a few standout films, and she seems consistently to write about people who love and support each other and give each other encouragement, and whose conficts arise from this very love and consideration for each other's feelings more than what they want for themselves. I noticed this in the very underrated "It Happened in Brooklyn" and "Fitzwilly" and again in this film.

    "Daisies" isn't a slapstick family movie about the kids' antics but a serious portrait of the marriage between Doris Day and David Niven and the crisis over his career as a theatre critic (based on the reality of Mary and Walter Kerr). The central conflict is whether Niven, a frustrated playwright turned critic, is in danger of becoming a witty personality who skewers others' works. The answer is: not really. His values are still solid but he has to prove it. Doris worries about him and has wanted them to leave NY for a suburb. They do move but it's a compromise for both--like marriage and life.

    The script doesn't cut away after a punch line; it leaves characters to deal with the situation. Perfect example: restaurant scene where an actress who feels insulted by a review slaps his face, humiliating him just as his wife walks in. If this were some stupid movie, he'd be spluttering while the music razzed him and we faded out, or he'd promptly get in a new fight with his wife who wanted to know who was that woman slapping his face, or you can write it yourself. Instead, his wife grasps the situation perfectly and sits down to brazen out their lunch while smiling diners look on; they support each other, share how angry they feel and go on with their lives as they must. There's a wonderful lengthy scene where the situation turns into a real argument in their apartment about his preferring to stay in NY, admitting that it's nice for the first time to be a receiving some attention as a writer, it's what he's doing to support them, etc, while she sees her dreams of the country and "saving" him recede from her, and it doesn't at all sound like a contrived movie argument. They're not bickering for our amusement, like Doris & Rock. They have points of view that are slightly but significantly different, and best of all, the scene leaves them standing there while it hangs in the air; they move apart and change the subject before they go too far, having some breathing room as she goes into the kitchen to make sandwiches and think, and then approaches it with fresh psychology that concedes this and that and makes him concede the move to the country, and they both understand perfectly what's going on. I thought "This writer knows how civilized couples argue."

    I could also go on about the actress, essentially an "other woman" role who tries to vamp Niven and is initially presented as merely a bad actress. She comes across as a woman who frankly understands her world and isn't trying to put something over on Niven that he's not smart enough to handle. He admits to being flattered and even coming to like her, and that's it. How well you can imagine another movie with the vixen laying traps for the hapless guy and Doris stumbling across some info about them having lunch and getting jealous etc., but that's just not how Lennart handles it. Doris doesn't worry about this individual but the general nature of her husband's new life, what it means for the family, and above all how it affects Niven himself.

    I will repeat one exchange that probably comes from Mary Kerr's book. It was funny, but it's an example of what the screenplay really was NOT: a string of zingers. They did keep dropping dry comments out of Kerr, but there was more substance than that. So the whole family is looking at the house they bought, which looks like the Addams Family's, and one kid says "It's like out of Ivanhoe." Dad says "Oh, I'm afraid it's much older than that." Then another kid says "Why is it so big?" Doris says "Because we couldn't afford anything smaller."
  • Based on the popular book by Jean Kerr, PLEASE DON'T EAT THE DAISY is probably the best of Doris Day's 1960s comedies--and it finds her surprisingly paired with David Niven. While the two may seem an unlikely couple, they have extremely good on-screen chemistry, and the film neatly balances its story between the two stars so that neither overshadows the other.

    Day plays Kate MacKay, mother of four hellions and the long suffering wife of esoteric drama critic Larry MacKay (Niven.) With her husband under siege by every actor, director, and producer in town, Kate decides to move the family to a home in the country--and in the process leaves her husband open to the temptations of Broadway star Deborah Vaughn (Janis Paige.) Before too long, Larry's swelling ego threatens their happy home.

    The cast is expert, with both Day and Niven extremely enjoyable and Janis Paige memorable as the Broadway siren who attempts to lead Niven astray; the supporting roles are also expertly handled by a cast that includes Spring Byington. The script is witty with a dash of sophisticated sparkle, and unlike most of Day's later comedies manages to avoid the feel of frantic farce. A truly enjoyable outing; pure fun all the way.

    Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer
  • i really like this film. unlike some other reviewers i think the chemistry between niven and day is strong - they presented like a genuine married couple. the script is versatile, witty on the one hand, but also able to shift to the more dramatic. the argument between day and niven as he reveals his desire for professional success is very well done. niven himself was laugh out loud funny on many occasions, and the portrayal of parenthoood was quite charming. the song at the school doesn't do anything for me, so i tend to fast forward past that scene. however that is a matter of personal preference: i enjoy doris day as an actress much more than as a singer. it's an amusing, easy going, light hearted film, perfect for afternoon viewing.
  • I had to comment here because the other comment was so negative. First, you have to like Doris Day to like this movie. It is one of her best and capturtes her in all of her best environs, as a mother, on the sidelines of fast lane society. How can any true fan not love this movie? She sings, she dances, and she acts.

    Doris's interaction with the kids is what steals the show, she's so natural with them. The musical numbers are light and fluffy, but that was what we loved about her work! Niven makes an unexpectedly good straight man and counterpart for Doris who is all over the place. It is also interresting that Janis Page co-stars in this film as she was the top billed female in Doris's first film, Romance on the High Seas.

    I think Page looks good as a blond and gives a great performance. Spring Byington is fantastic as the grandmother. The only walk-through performance is by Richard Haydn, who isnt too bad.

    Anyone who loves Doris Day will consider this one of their favorite movies.
  • slokes30 August 2006
    You're glad they made movies like "Please Don't Eat The Daisies" alright, simply to prove there was a time people were more innocent. Sitting through it is another matter.

    The central problem with "Please Don't Eat The Daisies" as it stands today is that it suffers from a major case of indecision: Does it want to be about a theater critic who gets a big head, or does it want to be about a Manhattan mom with four sons who finds a new home in Westchester County? Doris Day stars doing what she does best, throwing off clever one-liners with a maternal glow, doing a little bit of singing, and standing by her man, in this case David Niven as theater critic Lawrence Mackay, who probably doesn't deserve her but as played by the winning Niven keeps our sympathies enough to make us happy he convinces her otherwise.

    Mackay is quite taken by his new role as the Frank Rich of Mayor Wagner-era Broadway, but she's worried his becoming an influential quipmeister has made him mean, a candidate for a ride on the "down-a-lator" as expressed by a producer who used to be Mackay's friend until one of Mackay's catty reviews sundered their relationship. The producer, played by Richard Hadyn in much the same jaded manner he brought to his impresario role in "The Sound Of Music" five years later, accelerates Mackay's notoriety by having the starlet of his latest play, "Mme. Fantan," slap Mackay across the face for the benefit of a newspaper photographer after he disses her performance.

    There's a great idea for a story here, about a critic coming up against the egos of himself and others, but unfortunately the result doesn't give Day much to do. Niven is neither unfaithful to her nor really all that nasty a critic. Instead of trying to make the story work better, which admittedly would risk running against the grain of a Doris Day comedy, the film throws in a subplot, about the couple and their four sons moving up the Hudson River to the bucolic suburb of Hooton and the resulting mild turmoil that causes. Thus, the entire second half of the film feels as awkwardly tacked on as the musical numbers Day performs in the final third of the programme.

    It's all rather stupid, yes, but winsome, too, in that nice way that makes one nostalgic for the early 1960s. The scenery is attractively shot. The supporting actors are fun. Of the Day numbers, one, "Any Way The Wind Blows," is a terrific number with a busy bassline and some nice dipping harmonies that recalls Elvis Presley's "King Creole," fetchingly performed by Day and members of the cast as the "Hooton Holler Players." Never mind that groaner of a name, it's a good routine. The other number, the title song sung by Day and a merry band of children, should have been cut but for the fact it's a Doris Day movie and a drippy song with a kiddie chorus was what her audience wanted.

    The same can be said for the whole movie. "Please Don't Eat The Daisies" is charming in a way films wouldn't dare be today. The dialogue is unnaturally whipsmart Neil-Simonesque, even when it's Day talking to one of her sons ("All he does is eat and sleep." "He's a dog. What d'ya want from him, blank verse?"). The youngest boy is clearly overdubbed by a woman with a cutesy voice, saying "Cokee Cola" as he drops water bags on people in a way that's supposed to suggest Tom Sawyer, not lawsuits. The dog jumps into Niven's arms at the sight of a squirrel, and he raises his magnificent eyebrows as only David Niven can at the idea of finding himself in a lightweight suburban farce.

    Day makes you glad you stopped by, a suburbanite dream in her snug Capri slacks who finds the humor in every scene. Limited, yes, but very good in her genre, enough to make a film like this at least intermittently entertaining. She and Niven do play very well off each other. Like Michael E. Barrett wrote here in another review, the scene of them in the restaurant together after Niven has had his face slapped is a terrifically acted sequence, underplayed well by both stars.

    Unfortunately, the rest of film doesn't rise to that same level of subtlety. Instead, she does her suburban mom thing while he plays the non-vicious critic with a vicious reputation, until at the end we are asked to pretend the twain come to meet and all is resolved. It doesn't, but the nicest thing to be said for "Please Don't Eat The Daisies" is that it's so genial it makes you willing to pretend otherwise.
  • A drama critic, his wife, and four sons move from sophisticated New York digs to community-centered suburbia. Naturally adjustment problems ensue.

    All in all, this A-film is a disappointment. Drama critics are just not the stuff of comedies, nor does Niven get help in lightening the mood. Then too, since both stars were at career peaks, the screenplay expands their screen time with a lot of draggy exposition that doesn't help the amusement factor. And since the plight of Broadway critics is not exactly grist for popular audiences, I expect Day was added to provide the needed appeal. Trouble is she doesn't get to do her usual sparkle. It's a subdued role a dozen lesser names could have handled, and even her meager musical numbers are not exactly show stoppers. Moreover, director Walters seems unsure what to do with the bratty boys, who could have been milked for some laughs instead of too many groans. Still, the near two-hours does have its moments, especially with a cowardly canine, and Janis Paige (Deborah) whose ambitious vixen hits just the right notes. Anyhow, the chemistry never really gels and Day fans should stick with Rock who at least gets an honorable mention from the screenplay.
  • foggyday2 December 2001
    "Please don't eat the daisies" is one of my favorite movies of Doris Day. In opposite of her other Screwball-Comedies she shows us in this movie her natural talent. She sings like in the most of her movies, but her song with the children is made in an excellent way. Her Leading Man David Niven is the perfect partner for the lovely Ms Day. We can also see, that she is one of the few real Hollywoods Ladies, who played with children. In ten movies she plays a mother !!! This movie kept her at the top of the Box Office after her sucess with Pillow Talk, which is the opposite to this one. Everybody will enjoy this little cut comedy, which is really more than 'just one of those films".
  • Based on the best-selling novel by Jean Kerr, "Please Don't Eat the Daisies" is the story of a New York City family, the Mackays - four boys, a wife Kate (Doris Day) and her husband Larry (David Niven). Suddenly, Larry finds success as a powerful theater critic, and Kate wants to move out to the country, which was always their dream. However, it's not really Larry's dream any longer. He's heady on New York success and wants to be near Theater Row. Conflict comes with his changing values.

    This is a nice story co-starring Spring Byington as Kate's mother and Patsy Kelly as the family housekeeper. It doesn't compare with the sparkling Doris-Rock comedies. I happen to like David Niven in the role - he's what you would expect from a New York critic - above it all, sophisticated, egotistical, well-educated but ultimately likable.

    Day is very good as always and gets to sing, but the whole thing is a little too much. There aren't enough laughs to make it really funny. The brightest part of the movie for me was Janis Paige as Deborah Vaughn, an actress/singer decimated by Mackay in a review who then becomes attracted to him. She looks gorgeous, she's sexy, and she supplies the bite that the story needed more of. If the writers had built up that part of the story, the movie might have turned out better. The other part they could have built up is the awful play that Larry wrote that ends up being produced by the local community theater. Some scenes from that with Doris would have been great.

    Day, as it turned out, was at her best when Ross Hunter made her over into a glamorous, sophisticated woman herself and teamed her up with Rock Hudson and gave her glossy productions and great clothes. This film was made was right at that transition. Day is a very vibrant presence but she can't elevate this material to more than what it was - a pleasant family comedy.
  • bj2184 April 2006
    Warning: Spoilers
    This movie is a charming tale which I enjoy every time that I see it. When drama critic Larry McKay, his wife Kay and their four boys move from a crowded apartment in NewYork City to an old house in the country Larry finds that a house undergoing (what one can only assume) a major remodeling is to noisy to work in. So after he starts complaining Kay decides that Larry is basically becoming a pain and so she sends him off to live (for about a week) in a fancy hotel in the city until the work on the house is completed. What follows is the portrayal of true to life hilarity that we tend to see with children (because if you do not specifically tell your child not to put a chair on his head-- he of course will) after all boys will be boys and the true to life jealously (between husband and wife) that results when living apart.

    Many eccentric wonderful lovable characters flow easily in and out of the story making this a must see movie for old movie fans.
  • It took four sessions in front of the DVD player to get through watching PLEASE DON'T EAT THE DAISIES, about as bland a domestic comedy as I've ever watched. I'm a big Doris Day fan but this was the point in her career when she started making some family films that just didn't hit the mark.

    The cast is certainly pleasant enough, but the theme of boys being boys is overdone after the first twenty minutes. David Niven has the patience of a saint to put up with the nonsense forced on him here. Neither he nor Doris are able to overcome the inadequacies of an uninspired script that turns out to be a hodge-podge of ideas left over from GEORGE WASHINGTON SLEPT HERE (about a house in the country) and MR. BLANDINGS BUILDS HIS DREAM HOUSE, self-explanatory.

    To her credit, Day performs with natural ease throughout and even manages to toss off the vapid title song without losing her dignity. Best in support are Janis Paige as a sexy temptress who tries to lure Niven into her clutches and Richard Haydn who seems to be preparing for his subsequent role in THE SOUND OF MUSIC as a theatrical man who knows his way around a script.

    None of it is very funny, even with Patsy Kelly as a housemaid. The fluffy dog, Hobo, has a genuinely funny scene or two and there's the youngest child kept in a cage who steals a couple of scenes without even trying. But all in all, this one taxes the patience of anyone who develops a bad case of deja vu, having seen it all before.

    Summing up: Has the flavor of a TV situation comedy that goes on long beyond the half-hour mark. Banal best describes the weak script. The Jean Kerr book must have been mildly amusing.
  • jmillerdp27 December 2014
    Warning: Spoilers
    Wow! Here's a "classic" movie that is anything but classic. It's a meandering, unfocused mess. There is zero chemistry between Doris Day and David Niven. Their's is a pairing that could only be understood by a delusional studio executive. Doris Day is reduced to singing her "Que Sera Sera" again, for no reason, and then does another musical number, again for no reason.

    There's just all kinds of stuff going on, most of it inexplicable. Like Day and Niven's family not just moving to the country, but moving into a house that looks like something out of "The Munsters!" And, I guess they just see that one house and decide to buy it on the spot!

    What follows are just pointless plot and subplots going back and forth until the film thankfully comes to an end! And, they can't even do one shot on location. Very studio bound and lazy!

    I know that people get nostalgic for old films, but they really shouldn't be nostalgic about this one!

    ** (2 Out of 10 Stars)
  • Please Don't Eat The Daisies is an updating of Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House from the woman's point of view. It's taken from a humorous book of the same title by Jean Kerr, wife of the New York Herald Tribune theater critic Walter Kerr. The Kerrs have four boys instead of two girls so we're talking about double the trouble.

    Trouble the children are indeed. The film actually opens with the four boys getting their baby brother to drop water balloons on poor passersby of their Manhattan apartment. Which in itself is getting too crowded. But when the real estate agent starts showing the apartment off just as their lease is expiring, Doris Day and David Niven have to move and move quickly.

    Like Cary Grant and Myrna Loy, they sink quite a bit of dollars into what we would now call a fix-it-up. But where Cary was hip deep in his involvement in the new house, David Niven is all caught up in his work as one of New York's drama critics. It's up to Doris to keep the household together and get the house livable.

    Niven's got his own troubles too, he breaks a friendship with an old friend Richard Haydn when he gives producer Haydn's play a bad review. Not to mention a public slap at Sardi's from Haydn's star Janis Paige who will match her fanny with anyone's. Janis did have quite the derrière back in the day.

    Haydn's really got a great scheme to get back at Niven for the bad review. It's a pip, you have to see Please Don't Eat The Daisies for.

    Doris gets to sing three songs, including the title song which became a big hit for her. It's perfectly suited to her style.

    She sings well and David Niven is as debonair and charming as he always is on the screen. The film even spawned a television series later on in the decade. Please Don't Eat The Daisies still holds up well as good family entertainment.
  • I noticed reading the reviews that this movie is referred to as ''a sweet, lovable movie''. Well for me it's nothing like that, and I hated almost everything of the movie, including the characters, they were that annoying and uninteresting.

    David Niven plays David McKay, a professor that became a theater critic. Because he is such a total wimp, he even accepts to be humiliated in public by the press, even for laughs. And when his wife, Doris Day, decides to move to a house in the country, he even cheats on her (!!!). And her little kids don't do anything for help, and the reconciliation between Day and Niven came out of nowhere. Just an insipid bore

    The movie has two negative strikes against it. First, the dialogue. I heard much more believable and romantic dialogue in Lorenzo Lamas and Tom Green movies! Sappy. awkward and corny at least. And I really hated all the characters' delivery... the writers obviously didn't knew how to make the characters endearing or likeable at least. Especially Day's children, they were so obnoxious and annoying I wanted to shout at them with all my breath! And also Niven's lover (Janis Paige) is quite annoying. For liking a movie I have to relate to at least one likeable character, and this movie hasn't got even one of them! And the title song was so sappy and syrupy sweet that it became quite annoying to hear after a while.

    All in all, despite starring David Niven, it's a bad movie... and this is the worst movie he ever made! And when the movie was finally over I felt much much better, because I finally stopped watching this corny and irritating mess of a movie.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    In one of his novels, British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli makes a comment about people who make a career as "critics". He says they are people who failed in writing, acting, painting, and the arts in general. And that viewpoint has been the normal one that critics have faced throughout history. Aristophanes makes fun of them in one comedy where he has to have either Euripides or Aeschylus return from the dead to save Greek drama (Sophocles agrees not to get into the contest - he'll remain to take care of drama in the underworld!). So it goes through literature, particularly drama. Possibly the best spoof is Richard Sheridans' under produced comedy THE CRITIC, which is one of the funniest spoofs of playwriting in theater.

    The movies have not helped the love-hate image of critics. Look at such examples as Addison DeWitt in ALL ABOUT EVE, or Waldo Lydecker in LAURA. One is a cynical snake at times,and the other a killer. But Addison (based somewhat on the great George Jean Nathan) does have a good critical brain, and when you listen to his comments on theater they are enlightening. Moreover, he is the one who brings the really bad Eve Harrington to heel finally. As for Waldo, he does misuse his powers as an all-around critic (note how he attacks an artist named Jacoby when the latter starts dating Laura), but his comments have validity (we even see Laura laughing while reading the column. Waldo (based on Alexander Woolcott) is an intelligent critic, but egocentric, and sexually a mess (he's obviously gay, but deeply attracted to his female friend and protégée). He also is a first rate judge of character - note how he and the detective (MacPherson) end up agreeing about what a weak creep the socialite Shelby is.

    PLEASE DON'T EAT THE DAISYS was based on a novel by Jean Kerr, the wife of the critic for the Herald Tribune Walter Kerr (best remembered now for his excellent study THE SILENT CLOWNS about Chaplin, Keaton, Lloyd, Arbuckle, and the rest). Using her own family for the models of the novel, Kerr tells the story of critic Lawrence Mackay (David Niven), his wife Kate (Doris Day), their four sons, and dog, and how they face two momentous events: Lawrence's move to be chief Broadway critic on his newspaper, and their forced move to a suburban house.

    As another comment on this thread pointed out there is a plot theme borrowed from GEORGE WASHINGTON SLEPT HERE and MR. BLANDINGS BUILDS IS DREAM HOUSE about the problems about renovating an old house and making it livable again. This problem is compounded by Lawrence letting his new position go to is head. He is constantly returning to New York City either to go to plays, or to give lectures on the drama. Kate, of course, ends up having to watch the boys with her mother (Spring Byington) and her maid (Patsy Kelly), as well as getting the right furnishings for the house. This is not conducive to maintaining good relations between husband and wife.

    On top of this, Lawrence becomes very self-important. His mother has sent him a young man (Jack Weston) who has just written a play, figuring that Lawrence can give him some tips. In his smuggest way, Niven's Lawrence manages to turn the friendly Weston into a disgusted acquaintance by questioning not the structure or scenes or characters, but the choice of subject for the play (it's a biblical story). Worse, Lawrence treats his old producer friend Alfred North (Richard Haydn) scurvily by giving an "honest" opinion about a new comic review of his, starring a sexually hot actress Deborah Vaughn (Janis Page). The review takes it's author's view of the stage too highly, forgetting that the production was light-hearted, not Ibsen or Becket but Feydeau.

    Both producer and star want revenge - Vaughn slapping Lawrence in the face in a restaurant, and North thinking of showing off the truth about the critic's abilities. Chance plays into North's hands. Kate gets involved in an amateur acting group in their new community, and North sends her a play that they can do (only altering one detail: Lawrence wrote the play years earlier, and North changes the author's name). So the acting group (with Kate as star) practice and prepare to show the dismal work, which North intends to reveal as the work of Lawrence - but only after all the other leading critics of the other newspapers are on hand to see opening night!

    Yes it is a nightmare for a real critic - and Niven's Lawrence handles it...well as it should be handled.

    The production of the film is good, with nice set pieces. The "vampire" like lady shown the Mackays' apartment while they are caught unprepared (the building manager is left only with saying, "Poor Mr. Mackay...Poor Mrs. Mackay"), who is tough enough to not care if she puts everyone else on the street. Or the problems of Lawrence trying to break into his own house when everyone's asleep. It is a fine comedy, and certainly one of Day and Niven's best films (and the only one they ever made together).
  • This film adapts a Jean Kerr novel about her life with a professor-turned-theater-critic. Apparently, the novel is hilarious, but this film is anything but. Even the trailer -- which for a comedy should really capture the best laugh lines -- elicited barely a chuckle. Or maybe audiences then were less sophisticated: who knows? Anyway, the best diagnosis of this film is that David Niven is horribly miscast. Doris Day is her usual charming self, if not a bit anodyne (no surprise there, sorry!), but there is just nothing by way of chemistry between David Niven and her that would make you think that this is anything but an attempt to cash in on two brand-name actors. Niven's character alternates between flying off the handle and almost robotically delivering lines better suited for some boringly handsome American actor than for an actor of Niven's caliber.

    Moreover, when the story line takes the characters to the fictional Hudson River exurb of Hooton (which sounds more like somewhere in Appalachia or the Mayberry South than anything in that part of the world), the pastiche of crazy local townspeople is almost too much to bear.

    That it goes on for just under two hours adds insult to injury.
  • ... unless you are a fan of the main players. This is not the film to MAKE you a fan of Doris Day or David Niven. That's the rub.

    Ms. Day is in a situation comedy which was much more suitable as a TV show. The comedy and performances in this film are very slight. Day's musical performance with the children is very poorly choreographed.

    The scenes featuring the family moving into the mansion would have been more successful in a "Three Stooges" film. The children should have been kept in the cage for the entire lenght of the film. Some of the sets are nice. Janis Paige and Mr. Niven are good - they should have hooked up...

    **** Please Don't Eat the Daisies (1960) Charles Walters ~ Doris Day, David Niven, Janis Paige
  • aGiven the slapstick theme of the trailer, and the upbeat, silly title song, I went into Please Don't Eat the Daisies thinking it would be a silly, ridiculous, 1960s comedy. I've seen almost every movie Doris Day ever made, and David Niven is my all-time favorite celebrity boyfriend, so I was prepared to endure two hours of absurdity for their sake. It's a running joke in my house that I ask, "Why wasn't it David Niven?" during movies in which he could have easily played the lead, like My Fair Lady or The Bridge on the River Kwai. While watching Please Don't Eat the Daisies, I was shocked. Not only was Doris Day miscast, but so was David Niven!

    David Niven plays a world-class jerk-for lack of a better word. I lost track of how many times I shouted at the screen, "What an-!" And if I was insulting my beloved David Niven, there was something terribly wrong. He plays a theater critic who is desperate to join elite society and "belong" to the theater crowd. Before long, he starts writing nasty reviews with biting comments, just so others will laugh at his jokes during cocktail parties and quote him. Oh, and by the way, he's married and has four young sons. He constantly puts himself before his wife and children, he picks fights with his wife, and he continually spends time with Janis Paige, an actress who hits on him at every opportunity.

    Niven's wife is supposed to be a schlumpy, dumpy, frumpy woman who struggles to fit into her clothes. There are several jokes about her weight, and her mother Spring Byington berates her more than once for her appearance, telling her it's no wonder her husband is tempted by another woman because she's let herself go. Taking the abusive, offensive nature of that relationship out of the equation, it doesn't make any sense. Doris Day plays the wife! She looks like a Barbie doll, and they did nothing to ugly her up and make her unappealing. Janis Paige is "a pig", in the immortal words of Dean Martin in Some Came Running. No one would ever look twice at her if he was married to Doris Day.

    At the heart of the story is a bad marriage. Doris and Niven don't see eye to eye anymore about the important things in life. They fight, and she ends up apologizing and catering and filling every woman in the audience with a defeated depression. Even I, The Niv's biggest fan, hated him in this movie. Neither lead gave a bad performance-Doris cried on cue and Niven was frazzled and curt-but they just shouldn't have been cast. It just didn't work. If the movie had been made ten years earlier, and if Spencer Tracy and Shelly Winters were the leads, it would have worked. Shelly can be dumpy and apologetic, and Spence can be a jerk just by breathing.

    For the sake of brevity, I'll cut this review short. I recommend you stay very far away from this depressing, upsetting movie. It will make you hate David Niven, and nobody wants that.
  • After finishing watching "Please Don't Eat the Daisies" I was left with an unusual situation....I really had no idea WHAT the film was supposed to be. After all, at times, it seemed like a kooky comedy, at other times a film about a battling couple who really DIDN'T like each other, at others a film about adultery (which never actually materialized in any way) as well as a romance. I just was confused about the film and felt it was a muddled mess of a plot...especially the 'great' advice to the husband by his mother-in-law at the end of the film!

    Laurence Mackay (David Niven) is a reviewer who just got a big job with a top New York newspaper. His wife, Kate (Doris Day), is a mother who seems to actually rarely be home with her four kids--possibly because they are very strange and annoying brats. However, a strange thing happens...the longer Laurence reviews plays the more of a giant walking butt-head he seems to be. He becomes perpetually grouchy and is insufferable to live with...and you wonder why the missus doesn't just poison him. And, so it goes through much of the movie.

    As I said above, I really wasn't sure what the film intended here as the style film kept changing and some times it seemed as if some of the stories just disappeared before there was any resolution (such as the sexy Broadway leading lady who was trying to vamp Laurence...and then, inexplicably, just seemed to wander off). I didn't like the film very much and felt that there were great moments...but none of it really fit together or worked towards any purpose.
  • Being an honest theatre critic proves unexpectedly challenging for a college professor and his wife in this oddly titled comedy starring David Niven and Doris Day. The film is essentially two tales in one. It is partially about the theatre critic job getting to Niven's head and partially about the impact on Day who has to raise their four bratty children on their own (as he is so busy), something that eventually leads them to moving out of the city to the countryside where they experience new house woes. For a film so clearly structured as two overlapping tales, 'Please Don't Eat the Dasies' works surprisingly well. As an avid film-goer, it is easy to sympathise with Niven's desire to only give credit where credit is due when writing reviews, and as with Bob Hope's subsequent 'Critic's Choice', the film taps into the difficulty of resisting wittiness over descriptions when writing reviews. Day's dilemmas are not quite as interesting (and the film very awkwardly squeezes in no less than three songs for her to sing) but she is solid in her own right, noticeably suffocated under the weight of her children. On the downside, her kids are too obnoxious to ever be cute or really funny, but one might argue this as intentional. It is certainly at least hard to think of another mainstream movie that has managed to get away with playing up the locking up of a kid in a cage for laughs (!). Of course, the film's most unique aspect is its title, modeled on the contrary nature of the couple's kids who think nothing of eating all their daisies because they have never been told not to!
  • The plot is thin and makes little sense. David Niven is too old for Day, and they have no chemistry together. The film can't seem to stick to one theme as it jolts from one story to another, never tying anything up. The humor is threadbare and all the attempted jokes miss widely. How did they let Doris Day perform this B-grade monstrosity? The songs were of very low quality, not anywhere near Day's standards. The whole thing is pitiful and is just an excuse to fill out a contract and make money, the public and the audience be damned. The worst thing about movies (then) is that you plunked down your money and never knew what you'd get. You usually lost. Even with the big stars like Day. This was her prelude to one of her best pictures, Lover Come Back, in which everything rolls along smoothly. What a contrast in film.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I found this film to be pretty mediocre overall. The story couples Doris Day and David Niven as a couple who are moving from the city to the country just as the husband, Niven, is beginning to become a famous drama critic. Various entanglements of course arise in their new life in suburbia and in Niven's busy social life. They are surrounded by an unusual tandem of kids including one who is kept in a cage for safety reasons.

    The best thing you can say about it is that it is "charming". The production is competent, the supporting cast is decent, the dialogue is good. But it's just not the type of film I personally enjoy.
  • After playing a sexy interior decorator in "Pillow Talk", Doris Day went back to being homespun in "Daisies", and it's a defeatist move. With her blonde hair darker and swept back in a French bun, she's sweet and homey to her four kids, loving to husband David Niven, but where's the feisty Doris we all know and love? Based on Jean Kerr's book, Niven plays a theater-critic who capitulates on a personal review about a sexy actress, finding himself the Flavor of the Month. The kids are amusing brats, and the opening scenes in New York City have bounce, but the second-half on a ramshackle estate is dire--and so is the title song. It's a disappointment for Day's fans; she's wonderful as a sharp city woman, and she gets off a few good asides here, but bucolic doesn't do much for her, and there's little chemistry between she and fidgety Niven. ** from ****
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Please Don't Eat The Daisies (1960) is a little comedy study that is one year too late in celebrating the 50s sexual stereotype of 'the little woman'. It stars David Niven and Doris Day as Lawrence and Kay McKay. He's a Drama critic. She just wants to be a housewife. Their happy, if cramped, in a Manhattan apartment with four sons, David (Charles Herbert), Gabriel (Stanley Livingston), George (Flip Mark) and Adam (Baby Gellert). However, at the behest of Kay, the family departs the elegance of New York for suburbia and clean living. Well, almost.

    Seems Lawrence can't or won't entirely leave the Big Apple behind. That his work precludes a complete departure from the social depravity of Broadway stage door Johnnies and scheming starlets is an angle played up when it appears as though Lawrence has decided to sack Kay and family for the lovely and flirtatious Deborah Vaughn (Janis Paige). Complications ensue as long time friends Suzie Robinson (Spring Byington) and Alfred North (Richard Haydn) get involved though only manage to make a simple case of mistaken judgment develop into a full blown comedy of errors. And then, of course, there's the whole mix up with Reverend McQuarry (John Harding) that begs to be reconsidered.

    Based on Jean Kerr's humorous novel, ably adapted by Isobel Lennart, director Charles Walters directs with his usual panache, but is decidedly saddled with, and forced to do damage control over, Niven's central performance as the blundering Lawrence. Honestly, the poor man's made to look ridiculous around every corner – an ill fit for one of the most accomplished and adroit British actors of his time. Day manages to come up with some winning moments, but she too has seem better days and far better material. This film perhaps foreshadows the sort of 'reluctant domestic' role that the rest of her tenure with Rock Hudson would carry over. Apparently, and despite its overall entertainment value shortcomings, there is something to be said for timing. 'Please Don't Eat The Daisies' played to solid box office and even found renewed life as a television sitcom starring Brian Keith. Go figure.

    The anamorphic transfer from Warner Bros. is just average. Colors are dated and sometimes even muddy. Blacks are not very deep or solid. Whites are generally clean but slightly yellow. Shadow and contrast levels are disappointing. Save Day's rendition of the title song, the audio sounds rather unnatural and strident. Dialogue is decidedly forward sounding with no spread across the channels. The only extra is a theatrical trailer.
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