The Secret Life of an American Wife, as the title might indicate, is a light sophisticated marital farce. Basic idea, which sometimes takes on the aspect of a French romp, takes a comedy look at sex in the person of a 34-year-old Connecticut wife who thinks she’s gone to pot and lost all her appeal. More skillful development might have heightened impact of her deciding to do something about it, but overall the tale is amusing.
George Axelrod production, which he also wrote and directed, actually is a one-woman show with a couple of male characters tossed in for necessary consequence.
Even when such a past master at comedy as Walter Matthau, in role of a top film star on whom Anne Jackson tries her wiles, enters, the unfoldment is focused on her.
Jackson is enticing as the wife of a public relations man, Patrick O’Neal, who must cater to his top client, Matthau, whenever latter comes to NY from Hollywood for a round of frolic.
Matthau turns on all the faucets in his delineation of the thesp, who spends most of his scenes in pajama bottoms and a towel.