A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that like many of the Doris Day classics, this is a great movie with a misogynistic message: A housewife gets a job despite her husband's wishes but ultimately returns to her life at home. The problem lies not in her decision but in the way her husband manipulates her to make it. With its outdated gender roles, the film sets an even more inappropriate behavioral example for boys than it does for girls. There's also some very mild innuendo.
What's the story?
When housewife Beverly Boyer (Doris Day) becomes the TV spokeswoman for Happy Soap, her doctor-husband (James Garner) feels neglected. Hoping to bring her home, Dr. Boyer torments his wife emotionally. He even pretends to have an affair. In the end she decides (in teary-eyed joy) that she wants nothing more than to be a doctor's wife and churn out more children.
Is it any good?
Kids will enjoy THE THRILL OF IT ALL because, for all its sexual innuendo, the focus isn't really on married life. The leads are supported by two child actors, so it's technically a family film. Most of the action takes place at their house, where Hollywood legend Zasu Pitts plays Maggie the maid. The irascible owner of Happy Soap (Reginald Owen), his son (Edward Andrews), and daughter-in-law (Arlene Francis) provide additional comic effect.
Physical comedy -- like when Beverly falls bottom-first into a vat of tomatoes -- should keep the kids' attention even if the plot is a bit sophisticated. There's one memorable gag after another. Tweens and older will also appreciate the clever dialogue. It should be no shock that The Thrill of It All is hilarious. Carl Reiner wrote the screenplay and appears in a cameo role.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the expectations each gender has for the other one. Is there anything you've done just because you wanted to seem more feminine? To seem more like a man? Does being male mean you alone should support your family? What's satirized in the fake television show that plays the Happy Soap commercials? Do you think television today can be the same way?
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