It is because Ms. Reynolds' persona is associated with innocence that the audience has empathy for, say, her role as the nasty, unforgiving and selfish tough gal Peggy in The Rat Race (1960). You develop a protective feeling toward that character who lashes out because she is suffering on the streets of New York.
Maggie Putnam (Reynolds) hastily marries an Air Force Sergeant - Joe Fitzpatrick (Glenn Ford)- and almost immediately regrets it. Maggie does not know whether they married for love or for that kiss which started the whole thing. Plus, they disagree on finances. Thus, Maggie puts her husband in the friend zone (!) for a while until she sorts herself out. All this while deployed to beautiful, romantic Spain.
|Separate rooms, Joe.|
Add to this romantic comedy a futuristic, red convertible that the couple cannot afford,
and an eager baroness (Eva Gabor) and things become even more complicated.
Joe's confrontations with the bullfighter over Maggie are hilariously tense.
By the way, there is also a certain someone of TV fame who snoops around making everyone's lives miserable.