5 February 2001 | gbrumburgh
Good frothy fun...a perfect 60s time capsule sex comedy.
Walter Matthau has great fun in his role of a husband experiencing the "seven-year itch" who tries to learn the ropes of philandering by a co-worker buddy and expert adulterer (Robert Morse). Aided and abetted by a host of guest stars in flashback who offer the "do's" and "don't's" of extramarital affairs, our novice soon learns that cheating is a serious and very technical business. One misstep or a brief lapse of judgment...and it can be curtains for Casanova.
Matthau manages to keep the potentially smarmy material light and engaging while Morse is wickedly humorous as the no-nonsense "big brother." Of the numerous cautionary "lessons" offered by the guest stars, Joey Bishop, Ann Morgan Guilbert, Terry-Thomas and Jayne Mansfield manage to grab the biggest yuks in their brief scenes.
The irony of it all is that the late Inger Stevens, who plays Matthau's wife, is a spectacularly beautiful dish who, in my mind, has it all over the bump-and-grind shennanigans of Sue Ane Langdon and/or tawdry allure of Elaine Devry. Why Matthau's character would even consider cheating on the best looking femme in the picture is beyond me.
Nevertheless, relax and enjoy these comedy pros at work, guided by the assured hand of dancer-turned-director Gene Kelly.