Set your mindset to 1958 to enjoy this delightfully funny film.* Rex Harrison and Kay Kendall show off their physical comedy skills, and Sandra Dee is perfect as the slightly bored American being put through the debutante wringer.** Aside from having a great selection of 1958 fashion to take in,*** it also clips right along, avoiding any of that “old movie” slack.
Cost: free, because I wasn’t going to pay to watch a movie from 1958. I googled “Reluctant Debutant free” and used one of the services.
Where watched: at home, on my computer.
*Because if you don’t do this, you won’t enjoy it, given the 17-year-old girl paired with a 23 year-old-man. There’s also several instances where a girl being wrestled into a kiss is played off as a minor irritant/no big deal.
**If a trivia note in IMDB is to be believed, she was 14 when this movie was filmed.
***I first encountered this movie at quite the impressionable age, maybe 12 or 13? The scene is set early on with a title card saying simply: London: The Season. I can remember quite clearly thinking with awe, “What is The Season?” I could tell from the title card it was a Big Deal. From that point on, I would intermittently wonder what my life would be like if I had a big debut when I was 17. (Which, given that I was an American middle class teenager, was never going to happen, even if I suddenly was transformed to a British citizen, but I didn’t know that.)
poster from: http://www.blu-ray.com/The-Reluctant-Debutante/386402/