Thursday, July 11, 2013


In turn-of-the-century New York City, the Grey children (older teenager Amy and 10-year-old Cosmo who hates his name and wants to be called Charles) are dropped off at the wrong theater by their housekeeper Fanny and they see a melodrama about an adulterous wife who is shunned by society for her behavior. Amy is much taken with the play and feels that she now has some acquaintance with the "seamy side" of life. The next day, the children await the return of their parents who have been living and working in Panama for years; Amy and Cosmo barely remember them, and when Amy goes to meet their ship, she's on the lookout for an elderly couple, but in fact they are still young and vibrant people so Amy doesn't notice them. That's just the first of a series of misunderstandings between the kids and their parents (who have their own misconceptions about their children), the biggest of which involves Amy assuming that her mother is having a "seamy side" affair with a young doctor who is actually just a family friend. Afraid that her mom will be "hounded from society," she sets out to fix things, which of course only messes things up more. Since this is a comedy (based on a play by J.M. Barrie), everything works out in the end. This little trifle is mostly fun though it might be more interesting if played at a slightly faster pace, more like farce. Joan Fontaine and John Lund (pictured) are adequate as the parents; Mona Freeman as Amy and Peter Hansen as the family friend come off the best. There’s a nice Barrie reference when Amy, in discussing seeing the melodrama, says, "I wouldn’t have learned half as much from Peter Pan!" [Netflix streaming]

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