It's Lost That Loving Feeling

Sid James and Hattie Jacques in Carry on Loving (1970)

Sidney Bliss (Sid James - Carry on Henry) and Sophie Plummett (Hattie Jacques) are the owners of The Wedded Bliss computer dating agency except their own partnership is less than blissful with Sidney's wandering eye and that they are lousy at their jobs. But they try to match up people in need of romance for a small fee and between mis matched people, randy clients and a whole range of misfits it seems that no one will meet the love of their life.

I don't mind the occassional "Carry On" movie especially when they ply you with sexual innuendo accompanied by a humorous storyline. And that is probably why I have never enjoyed "Carry on Loving" because there is very little sexual innuendo and really no storyline either, making it a movie of set piece gag after set piece gag and they are not that great anyway. And what makes matters worse is that very few of the regular "Carry on" stars appear and those which do have little to do except for Sid James who seems to have been given the task of making "Carry on Loving" work all on his own.

Terry Scott and Sid James in Carry on Loving (1970)

The biggest issue when it comes to "Carry on Loving" is that it really doesn't have a storyline or at least one which is of either any interest or importance. Everything basically revolves around characters either finding a date through The Wedded Bliss computer dating agency or getting their leg over. That is it, there really isn't much else going on and with a reoccuring scene where one of the characters keeps coming across the same couple making out it is as repetitive as it sounds. There are sort of storylines such as Sophie hiring a private detective to follow her partner Sid and Sid's constant attempts to bed Esme but they aren't really strong stories.

What this means is that "Carry on Loving" is a movie which works on one set piece after another all of which are meant to be amusing. But the trouble is that none of these set pieces are really amusing, from the fake computer system at the dating agency through to Esme's wrestling boyfriend getting the wrong end of the stick. You literaly end up watching "Carry on Loving" waiting for at least one funny joke but it never comes and when it's all over you are kind of relieved.

And to make matters worse is that very few of the "Carry On" regulars appear, or so it seems as in fact there are a few. Kenneth Williams, Charles Hawtrey, Joan Simms, Hattie Jacques and Terry Scott are all there but their characters are all so minor, get so little time that it ends up feeling like they're not there. And the new faces such as Richard O'Callaghan as Bertrum Muffet and Imogen Hassall as Jenny Grubb just aren't strong enough to make the comedy work. And this means that Sid James is left to try and make all the comedy work as he pops up in more scenes than most of the "Carry on" regulars. But even the wrinkle faced Sid James can't make the jokes work despite trying his hardest.

The thing is that all of this makes "Carry on Loving" rather dull but the nail in the coffin is the lack of risque sexual innuendo. It's that risque nature which often made "Carry On" movies so much fun but what we get in "Carry on Loving" is some cleavage shots and that is about it. No amusing double intendres or Sid James being a dirty old man just lame gag after lame gag. The fact that "Carry on Loving" ends in a food fight pretty much sums up how lame the movie is.

What this all boils down to is that "Carry on Loving" is one of my least favourite "Carry on" movies purely because it lacks almost everything that makes them so good. It's all too obvious and the jokes are weak making it a dull procession of set piece after set piece. It's not helped that whilst a few "Carry On" regulars are in the mix they might as well not be as the writing does them no favours especially Sid James who is left to try and make it all work.

Tags: Carry On Movies

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