Wednesday, April 23, 2014
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Playboy-Taming Virgins

In the laugh du jour department, this arcane bit of movie scholarship: men-about-town who settle down once they meet that special virgin. (Hat tip, John Timpane.) This list is good as far as it goes, but it is far from comprehensive.

Playboy-Taming Virgins

Frank Sinatra and Debbie Reynolds in "The Tender Trap."
Frank Sinatra and Debbie Reynolds in "The Tender Trap."

In the laugh du jour department, this arcane bit of movie scholarship:  men-about-town who settle down once they meet that special virgin. (Hat tip, John Timpane.) This list is good as far as it goes, but it is far from comprehensive.

This underexplored subgenre of the romantic comedy flourished in the 1950s, that decade of double whiskeys and double-standards. My personal favorite is The Tender Trap, with Frank Sinatra and Debbie Reynolds. (The Tender Trap is a good name for this type of film.) Les Girls (Gene Kelly, Mitzi Gaynor, Kay Kendall and Taina Elg) is pretty terrific, as is the Audrey Hepburn Virginathon Love in the Afternoon (with Gary Cooper), Funny Face (Fred Astaire) and Sabrina (William Holden and Humphrey Bogart). Oh, yes, and Flower Drum Song (James Shigeta and Miyoshi Umeki) and the original Where the Boys Are (George Hamilton and Dolores Hart), a surprisingly sharp group portrait of what were then called good girls and nice girls. In the modern era, I suppose Clueless could be included. Am I missing any playboy-taming virgins? Your favorite(s)?

Carrie Rickey Film Critic
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Carrie Rickey Film Critic
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