Do Not Disturb (1965)
An Affair to Forget
Doris Day, Britt Ekland and Raquel Welch a trio of attractive women who appeared together in "Do Not Disturb". Actually that's a sort of a lie as Britt Ekland and Raquel Welch are just faces in a crowd in what was the first of two Doris Day and Rod Taylor movies. Whilst the storyline to "Do Not Disturb" is both different to the norm and amusing, the actual movie is sadly not on par with Doris Day's other romantic comedies, suffering from a director who seemed in awe of his star and relying far too much on Miss Day to provide kooky and cute humour, much to the detriment of the actual movie.
Having moved to England to help a struggling wool manufacturing company Mike Harper (Rod Taylor - The Birds) and his wife Janet (Doris Day - Send Me No Flowers) find the British way of life both confusing and stressful. It's even more stressful when Janet finds them a house to rent which is a trek from Mike's city offices. When their landlady spots Mike having a drink with his attractive assistant things become messy as Janet thinks he's cheating on her and their landlady decides to play games by making Mike jealous with gifts turning up at their home for Janet. It turns out a mistake but when antique dealer Paul Bellari (Sergio Fantoni) charms his way into Janet's life and whisks her away to France on the pretence of furniture shopping the confusion returns.
So the storyline to "Do Not Disturb" is actually not that bad and a little different to the majority of the romantic comedies which Doris Day was making in the 60s. Being set in London allows for plenty of humour as Janet Harper struggles with the British way, from confusion over shillings, pennies and nickers to obviously driving on the wrong side of the road as well as much else. But that is just a mask to the actual storyline which revolves around Janet's workaholic husband and confusion over supposed affairs. It's all shall we say a little obvious as well as far fetched but it has plenty of scope for some humorous moments as confusion leads to more confusion and a trip to Paris with an antique selling lothario.
But the trouble is director Ralph Levy seems to be in awe of Doris Day and as such puts far too much emphasis on her character. Now I like Doris Day, there is no one who can do kooky and cute better and as such there are some wonderful scenes where Miss Day just brilliantly delivers the lovable character of Janet as she is befuddled by one thing or another. The opening scene with the taxi cab and the confusion over money is just brilliant. But the trouble is that "Do Not Disturb" is too full of these moments, at times firing off one kooky and cute moment straight after another and it becomes not only boring but annoying.
And because Levy relies so heavily on Doris Day doing kooky and cute the rest of the stars don't get a look in. Rod Taylor is the epitome of tall and handsome, the stereotype leading man yet he barely gets the screen time to shine and most of what he does get relies on him being infuriated by one thing or another. It's again repetitive and doesn't allow for Taylor to stretch his acting legs. The same can be said for all the cast including Sergio Fantoni who plays antique dealing lothario Paul.
What this all boils down to is that "Do Not Disturb" is sadly not a patch on other romantic comedies which Doris Day made during the 60s. The storyline is good and it has some funny moments, but it feels like director Ralph Levy was too in awe of Doris Day and over used her cute and kooky nature to the movies detriment, meaning by the time it finishes the gags have become tired and repetitive. "Do Not Disturb" is still fun, mildly amusing but there are much better Doris Day romantic comedies to watch.
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