Doris Day and Rock Hudson Come Back for More
Following the success of "Pillow Talk" Doris Day and Rock Hudson were reunited along with Tony Randall for another romantic comedy "Lover Come Back" which like "Pillow Talk" again revolves around mistaken identities and a love hate relationship. As such there are some major similarities between "Lover Come Back" and "Pillow Talk" as they both work with similar ideas but basically changing names, location and situations. But then it works well enough to be entertaining, even a second time around although "Pillow Talk" is the superior of "Lover Come Back".
Carol Templeton (Doris Day - Please Don't Eat the Daisies) and Jerry Webster (Rock Hudson - The Last Sunset) both work in the world of marketing and both are very good at their jobs as well as being rivals working for different advertising companies. But Carol doesn't approve of the way Jerry works who wines and dines clients, satisfying their personal needs to win their contracts and so sets about stealing one of his accounts from him for a product called VIP. But unbeknown to Carol VIP doesn't really exist and when she goes to see the Doctor who has supposedly come up with this new product she is duped by Webster who pretends to be the reclusive doctor and sets about taking advantage of her.
Despite being similar to its predecessor almost everything about "Lover Come Back" works and although the whole set up of Doris Day being a career minded woman being duped by her rival is very familiar it works even a second time around. As such the storyline to "Lover Come Back" is relatively simple revolving around rivals in the world of marketing ending up falling for each other when one dupes the other. There is little more to it than that and the emphasis is again on the rivalry between Carol and Jerry whilst he plays her along pretending to be Dr Linus Tyler leading to them, you guessed it, falling for each other.
There is of course a little more to it than just that and there are some sub stories most notably that surrounding the product VIP which they fight over and Pete Ramsey, played by Tony Randall, the weak minded manager of the advertising firm which Webster works for who decides to take a more active role in the business. But whilst not just padding "Lover Come Back" mainly revolves around the chemistry of Doris Day and Rock Hudson be it when they are supposedly falling in love or rivalling each other for contracts. And it is that chemistry the romance, the mischief of Hudson when he is duping Day to get his way which gives "Lover Come Back" that spark to lift it up to be a truly enjoyable movie.
As such Doris Day and Rock Hudson are once more on fine form, they maybe playing a couple of seriously stereotypical characters in uptight career minded Carol Templeton and womanizing Jerry Webster but they work. It doesn't even matter that the stereotypes are ultimately wrong with Day playing Templeton with that touch of virginal innocence and of course as we know Hudson being no womanizer, because together the issues are easily ignored. Even Tony Randall playing the weak Pete Ramsey adds an extra dimension of humour with a character which in all honesty is as unrealistic as they come.
Of course watching "Lover Come Back" or any of Doris Day and Rock Hudson's movies together, now there is another level to the humour that really wasn't so apparent back in the late 50s and 60s when they wooed audiences together. Yes I am talking about the fact that Rock Hudson in real life was no womanizer and many of the jokes and subtle one liners now have a second meaning, a second level of comedy which makes it even funnier watching it now. The same can be said of Doris Day playing the eternally virginal character because it became apparent that Doris Day's on screen persona was different to her one off screen and as such there is humour to be had on another level watching Day play the cute and almost innocent Carol Templeton.
As with its predecessor "Pillow Talk", "Lover Come Back" does have its issues and I am not talking about it all being a little too detached from reality or that it uses a similar idea. Nope it is the fact that although I adore Doris Day as a singer the scene which revolves around the song "Should I Surrender" almost feels like it's been inserted so that the movie includes a Doris Day song. It's not as obvious as in "Pillow Talk" but it still feels a little too forced.
What this all boils down to is that "Lover Come Back" is yet again another thoroughly entertaining Doris Day and Rock Hudson movie which despite being very similar in concept to "Pillow Talk" still manages to make it all work. In a way "Lover Come Back" has got better with age because with the revelations about Rock Hudson many of the jokes and romantic moments deliver another level of humour not apparent on original release. For me it's not as good as "Pillow Talk" but it is still a thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable romantic comedy which delivers both in equal measure.