“Grow up, Arthur — you’d make a fine adult.”
An alcoholic playboy (Dudley Moore) is forced by his stern great-aunt (Geraldine Fitzgerald) and father (Thomas Barbour) to marry an heiress (Jill Eikenberry) with a domineering dad (Stephen Elliott) or lose his fortune — however, when he falls in love with a quirky waitress (Liza Minnelli), he must choose between love and financial security, and turns to his butler (John Gielgud) for advice.
Dudley Moore is perfectly cast as the irrepressible title star of this smash hit screwball comedy about a “fun drunk” who you can’t imagine possibly liking, but eventually grow to enjoy and even admire a little bit. Moore’s chemistry with Minnelli makes their unconventional romance plausible (though I’m not sure what it says about either of them that they “meet cute” while she’s shoplifting), and Eikenberry is note-perfect as a woman convinced she’s capable of “fixing” Moore. Meanwhile, Moore’s relationship with droll John Gielgud — playing his avuncular butler and mentor — consistently reminds us of both Moore’s humanity and his potential. Burt Bacharach’s catchy theme song instantly hits one’s aural memory nerves and begins looping itself through your brain, but at least it’s a pleasing ditty. This film has held up surprisingly well as a light-hearted comedy, and is worth a look.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Fine performances throughout
- Burt Bacharach’s theme song
No, but it’s recommended as an enjoyable comedy.