26 January 2015 | marcslope
One big long smirk
Ben Mankiewicz noted on TCM that Jack Lemmon was not happy being assigned this film version of a semi-hit Broadway sex comedy from 1960, and you can see why. As the libidinous landlord of a California complex who rents out only to nubile young things, he's playing an absolutely awful man, and for all his comic finesse, he's charmless and irritating. In Lawrence Roman's oversexed plot (he adapted his play with director David Swift), Lemmon's Hogan mistakenly rents a beautiful one bedroom (for $75 a month; oh, to be in 1963) to undergrad Carol Lynley, who plans to share it platonically with her fiancé, Dean Jones, who had played this part on Broadway. And from there it's one long smirk, with Lynley wiggling her fanny in short-short outfits, Jones bemoaning how difficult a no-sex policy is, and Lemmon mugging and being thoroughly unpleasant. Edie Adams, as Lemmon's ex and Lynley's aunt, is a pro, and Paul Lynde, as a horny-for-young-girls (ha) gardener, and Imogene Coca, as his disapproving wife, wring what laughs they can out of repellent material. If you want to know what '60s sex comedies were like, with endless jokes on will-she-won't- she-lose-her-virginity, this is a good example, typically over lit and supplemented with a cutesy Frank DeVol score. And Lynley and Jones are charming. But given the change in morality in intervening years, it looks it was made on another planet.