Friday, September 12, 2008

The Playboy and The Virgin

Lover Come Back was a Doris Day/Rock Hudson vehicle from 1961.

It's about two advertising executives from competing firms. Rock Hudson is a playboy who uses girls and parties to get accounts. Doris Day is her usual uptight, upstanding self infuriated at his tactics. So she goes to the advertising board to accuse him. Her star witness is one of Hudson's jilted starlets. But before she can get the woman to testify against him, Hudson films this starlet for some commercials for a product that doesn't exist: "VIP!" And suddenly Doris doesn't have a case.

So these commercials mistakenly air, and suddenly everybody wants VIP. "What is VIP?" "It's what everyone wants!"

So Rock Hudson quickly employs a scientist to invent "VIP" and while he's in the lab, alone, Doris Day comes in to try to get the account. She mistakes Rock for the scientist and bang! It's romance!

VIP, when it finally comes out (along with Rock Hudson's identity) is a mint. A mint that contains as much alcohol as 5 martinis (get me some VIP!). Cut to Doris waking up in bed next to Rock Hudson following a VIP inspired shotgun wedding.

Can't you see this being remade? Lover Come Back would be a fun easy update. The ZIP ads today could be an internet sensation. Of course we might want to throw out the nasty jabs at homos. At one point, Doris is talking with one of her colleagues and the following transpires.

Doris: "Lilac floors? Who in the world has lilac floors?"
Colleague: "I have a lilac floor."
Doris (sarcastic): "Well, not everyone is as artistic as you."

Then she looks to her drawing board, and then back at him with this smug knowing look. Which really made me want to slap her, actually.

As if anyone should be smug when they wear planters on their head.
Or when they're acting opposite the loveliest of lilac lovers.
Or they wear lilac pom pom cones on their head to the beach.
Get over it, Doris. Tony Randall likes lilac, too.

6 comments:

Tony said...

Hey Jesse -

Given what we know now, that last shot of Hudson touching (caressing?) Randall, really makes you wonder: gay subtext? Of course in 1961, when the movie was released, it was still culturally the 50's in mainstream America, so even if the screenwriters intended it, very few would have picked up on it - innocent little me certainly didn't.
But now you could re-make it as a love triangle: who will the studly hero end up with, his doting, queeny male sidekick, or the blonde female temptress? It could be a comedy, or maybe a campy melodrama. Throw in some skin and you've got a hit. At least with certain audiences.

Mark in DE said...

I agree - "Lover Come Back" would make an EXCELLENT remake. Why hasn't anyone (else) thought of it?

Hey, you're a screenwriter - why don't YOU write the GAY remake???

You can thank me later.

Mark :-)

Edina Monsoon said...

Just reminds us that Gay Movies don't have to be all about two guys humping each other.

My favorite Gay Movie is "The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne", with Maggie Smith. And there ain't even any sex or gay folks in it. It just touches on a whole lot of what being gay has meant to me. Not in a wholly negative way. It's actually quite an uplifting film.

Jesse Archer said...

I'm putting it on my netflix queue!

Jesse Archer said...

ps. Wasn't Judith Hearne the character Bette Davis played in Dark Victory? Or was that Trahearne?

Edina Monsoon said...

That was Judith Traherne. She wasn't lonely, she was blind (which is a blessing when Humphrey Bogart is making moves on you).

Both Judith's liked a drink though.