The screen version of Lawrence Roman’s hit stage play is concerned with an experiment wherein two young people in love (Carol Lynley and Dean Jones) agree to determine their ‘character compatibility’ prior to marriage by living together platonically. The project is complicated by the intrusion of the lecherous landlord (Jack Lemmon) of the apartment building in which they have chosen to reside.
As engineered by director David Swift, the film’s cardinal error is its lack of restraint. There is a tendency to embellish, out of all proportion, devices and situations that, kept simple, would have served the comic purposes far more effectively.
Exaggeration has also spilled over into the area of production design. Having Lemmon’s apartment fully equipped for romantic pursuits is one thing, but some of the props, notably a pair of pop-up, mechanical violins, strain credulity.
For Lemmon, the role of amorous landlord is a tour-de-farce, and he plays it to the hilt. Lynley is a visual asset and does a satisfactory job as the somewhat ingenuous ingenue. Jones, who played the rather gullible boy friend on Broadway, effectively repeats his characterization on screen.