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Comedy Movies - The Thrill Of It All

BUY The Thrill Of It All (dvd cover)
Doris Day, James Garner
Written by: Carl Reiner
Dir: Norman Jewison
Universal Studios 1963
108 minutes

How can you go wrong with a lineup like Doris Day, James Garner, Carl Reiner (of the Dick Van Dyke Show) as the writer and Norman Jewison as director? You can't.

The Thrill Of It All is a charming little comedy very typical of the funny movies of the period. When watching The Thrill Of It All you realize the greatest difference between the great comedies of the sixties and the so-called comedies that are cast to us is that in those days they took the time to tell a story but they did not waste time telling that story. Doris Day is her usual charming, witty all-American self as a typical housewife and mother of two who somehow becomes the star of a soap commercial. James Garner, whose talent as straight man is underrated, is her obstetrician husband who soon gets overwhelmed by his wife's new career and independence. This is a funny movie the whole family will enjoy.
Carl Reiner is a very funny writer and Norman Jewison (who also directed Moonstruck with Cher and The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming but is also known for Jesus Christ Superstar and the brilliant A Soldier's Story) does an extraordinary job with solid comedic material. Both Reiner and Jewison know how to tell a funny story and, most important and a lost, lost art in modern comedies, know how to set up an joke that will be an ongoing gag in the movie (in this case Doris' Day's son's lack of talent on the telephone). Another great plus of this movie is that it is not only interested in making you laugh; there is something to think about here. You do not have to think about it and it won't spoil your fun watching this funny movie if you don't, but noticing that The Thrill Of It All is a comment on the world of advertising and television commercials makes the movie that much more funny and that much more interesting.

The Thrill Of It All if the kind of movie the whole family can enjoy if you can wean your kids off the Disney instant funny payoff style or the loud and in your face comedy style we suffer from today. This is a charming, funny movie that is a pleasure to watch with a great cast of studio supporting actors and two leads, Doris Day and James Garner whose chemistry on the screen is real and whose talent for comedy is obvious.

Considering we now live in a time where studios are content with making movies from old tv shows and remaking movies they made in the sixties, I really think they should try to remake The Thrill Of It All but must definitely not touch a word in Carl Reiner's funny script. Caroline Rhea would be perfect as Doris Day (either in a biography or in her role in this movie) as she has that Doris Day charm with a modern edge. I am not sure who could replace James Garner but hopefully the studios will not go with a starpower overrated supposedly funny guy like Jim Carrey but choose either a more subtle but audience friendly comic like Alonzo Bodden or an edgy comic like Lewis Black. Imagine that Caroline Rhea and Lewis Black in a movie as a married couple. Wild!

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