Please Don’t Eat The Daises (1960)

Jean Kerr’s collection of humorous essays about a family of six living in suburban New York was handled by screenwriter Isobel Lennart who found a through-line in the anecdotes. The result was the charming comedy Please Don’t Eat the Daises (1960). The plot’s fulcrum derives from the tension between Kate MacKay (Doris Day), who is all set to move the family to the countryside, while her husband Larry (David Niven)  has changed his mind and is eager to remain in Manhattan now that his new job as a theater critic is taking off.

The cast includes Janis Paige as Deborah Vaughn, a theater actress who would like to seduce the new critic; Richard Hayden as Alfred, Deborah’s manager and friend to the MacKays; Jack Weston as Joe, a cabdriver-turned-playwright who seeks Larry’s advice; Spring Byington as Kay’s mother; and Carmen Phillips in a brief comic scene as a bizarre new tenant in the apartment who does not like being awake in the daytime.

Lennart's dialogue between Day and Niven is the heartbeat of this domestic tale.  Lennart's co-worker at MGM, Dorothy Kingsley, said of her,  "Isobel lived for her work. She would get up in the middle of the night and write down a line. If someone didn't like her script, she'd throw up." The screenwriter was nominated for a Writers Guild Award for Best Written American Comedy  for this film.



Though this is not a musical, with the award-winning songstress as the star, the film manages to squeeze in reasons for Day’s character to sing. With three fun songs, including the title tune by Joe Lubin, which Day sings in a playground with children, the best is a brief reprise of a ballad from another film with which the star would forever become synonymous – "Que Sera, Sera."

3 comments:

  1. This was the first Doris Day movie I watched and I enjoyed a lot. Her children and the situation in the house were so funny! And the charming songs, of course!
    Oh, have you already signed up for the A Letter to the Stars blogathon? There is more information about it in this post: http://www.criticaretro.blogspot.com.br/2012/10/ha-coisas-que-merecem-ser-divulgadas.html

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  2. Sounds great, Le. I've added the blogathon to my sidebar.

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  3. I've always been lukewarm about this film, but I am a BIG fan of the wardrobe choices. Doris Day looks terrific in this film.

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