|THE TENDER TRAP (1955)|
Howard St. John
|"I'm glad to see success hasn't changed you. You still make a rotten martini."|
|Time: 111 mins.|
Rating: Not Rated
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song.
SYNOPSIS: A swinging stage producer with his pick of the ladies falls for a young actress with an inflexible marriage plan. His attempts to escape her clutches disgusts his married best friend and hurts the one gal who always stood by him.
BOTTOM LINE: Sinatra may not have been the best looking actor of his era, but his charisma is undeniable and one of the only things that keeps this tepid look at love and marriage interesting. Though perfectly cast and wittily written, once his wolf has been tamed the film loses it's luster and energy by turning him into a lovesick puppy. Not fun. What's worse is that his choice of dames is utterly unbelievable. Reynolds does a great job as the uptight performer who wants to be a wife, but her character is so intractable and annoying there's no way she would trap a shark like Sinatra. Granted she's the one that makes him believe he actually wants to settle down, I just didn't buy that it would be with her. They have chemistry in their limited screentime, but he sparks with every woman in the movie, so their scenes don't really seem all that special. It's too bad this is the only film they made together because given better material they may have made a classic. Helping to boost the effort are the prodigious comic talents of Wayne and Holm. Both are wildly underused, but each manages to give their character depth and charm. Holm spent most of her career as the leading lady's best friend, which is a real shame. Her beauty and intelligence shine through every role and in this instance, make Sylvia, a career girl unlucky in love, a woman you desperately want to find her prince charming. A mediocre effort made better because of the talent involved.