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   BACHELOR IN PARADISE (1961) 

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CAST
Bob Hope
Lana Turner
Janis Paige
Jim Hutton
Paula Prentiss
Don Porter
Virgina Grey
Agnes Moorehead
Florence Sundstrom
John McGiver

DIRECTED BY
Jack Arnold

PURCHASE


About Hope




Time: 109 mins.
Rating: Not Rated
Genre: Comedy

Academy Award nomination for Best Song.


Hope brings his own special brand of cheeky humor to this silly, 60s bedroom farce. Turner plays the woman he's dying to get his smarmy arms around. The fact that she loathes him and what he's doing to her quiet, little neighborhood only seems to make him want her more. He plays A.J. Niles, a world-famous author who writes about what he knows best: how to be a successful bachelor.

Trouble with the IRS forces him back to America and into the suburbs to do research for his next book, which he hopes will be successful enough to pay off his debt. As the only bachelor in the family-oriented community of Paradise Cove, his presence causes intrigue and begins to stir up trouble. Of course, he keeps his true identity a secret, since many people find his books rather silly and slightly immoral.

In an attempt to use his vast store of romantic knowledge, he begins to tutor the local housewives in the language of l'amour. His advice to add spice to their marriages works well in some households, but terribly in others, causing a few of the husbands to believe AJ's trying to ruin their lives, not improve them. While he enjoys meeting with the lonely ladies, he only has eyes for Rosemary (Turner), the one other single person in the community.

AJ is renting her home, so when the rumors start flying, she's forced to choose between keeping her job – her boss is one of the over-heated husbands – or kicking him out. She's not particularly fond of him or his attempts to woo her, but she doesn't believe he's guilty of all condemnation coming his way. All he was trying to do was bring passion to Paradise, but his fellow men want nothing to do with it.

When his behavior affects Rosemary's future, they form an uneasy partnership to alleviate both their troubles. She even begins to fall for his limited charms. After all, they're both adults looking for a little companionship, but without the commitment. They almost find it too, but their burgeoning relationship hits the skids when AJ's real identity is uncovered.


Rosemary: "I came out here to tell you what a despicable person you are."

AJ: "You might get an argument. I'm very fond of me."


Rosemary feels betrayed, believing their honest connection was nothing more than fodder for his new book. The husbands want him arrested for destroying their lives and turning their sweet, uncomplicated wives into women with romantic notions and the wacky need to be appreciated. In the film's least plausible scenario, AJ finds himself in the middle of a legal battle that's not only a waste of the court's time, but the viewers as well. It's a ludicrous, heavy-handed ending to a light and fluffy affair that nails home a message that's been exceedingly obvious throughout the film.

For a sex comedy, BACHELOR IN PARADISE has quite a moralistic view of love and marriage. Hope's character, despite having the most fun, is looked down upon for his free-wheeling ways, even though it's his presence in town that shows the husbands how neglectful they've been towards their faithful and loving wives. That the ultimate bachelor will find true love is pretty much a given. Can't have him on the loose, tempting lonely housewives. Since, Turner is the only other single person in the film, their relationship develops as more of a plot point than from any real chemistry between the actors.

Turner never seems comfortable with the reality of building a romance between the witty one-liners and the domestic physical hilarity, which obviously isn't her forté. She may be the most beautiful woman in the film, but Hope never tries to make an honest connection because he isn't required to. They're both merely following the script and more often than not, it shows. As bedroom farces go, this one has enough funny situations and clever dialogue to please most viewers – especially those fond of Hope – but it certainly isn't a film to remember.


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