Time: 119 mins.
Rating: Not Rated
Academy Award for Best Score.
Even Monroe's considerable charisma fails to bring life to this plodding musical about finding love behind the scenes of an off-Broadway production. Monroe plays her usual dim, but likable singer/actress who's trying to better herself while becoming a star and avoiding the pitfalls of romance. The little show she's rehearsing skewers the sexual liaisons of a world-renowned billionaire Jean Marc Clement (played by Montand), who's none to thrilled to be the object of such ridicule. However, once he sets eyes on Monroe all bets are off. Instead of shutting down the production, he pretends to be a novice actor auditioning for the role of Clement. Monroe takes him under her wing and agrees to show him the ropes, but no matter what he tries, he's unable to sway her heart. Since his true identity and lifestyle disgust her she hates men who think their money and power can buy them anything or anyone he decides to impress her the only way he can with his theatrical talent. Having none to speak of, he hires the best comedy writer, dancer and singer he can find to give him lessons. The cameos of Milton Berle, Gene Kelly and Bing Crosby, all starring as themselves, attempting to help this poor schmuck are priceless and the funniest scenes in the film.
In the end, he wins her respect and love as a performer, but is stilled loathed by her as a human being, especially once she discovers his true identity. The film sweeps this glaring issue under the rug with a quick kiss and the final credits immediately following the reveal. How could we believe that any woman, even Monroe, would forgive a man for such a deception? This being a fluffy comedy, we're not supposed to think about those matters and just enjoy the music and romance. This would be possible, if there was any chemistry between Monroe and Montand or if he was even remotely charming or funny. It's not that Montand is a bad actor he's just woefully miscast here. Randall puts in an entertaining performance as Montand's overworked assistant, but his role is too small to make much of a dent. The musical numbers add energy and pace to the film, but feel random and unfinished, not really having much to do with the plot. More Monroe Montand has most of the screen time could have gone a long way to making this a true gem instead of a costume clunker.