Title: That Touch of Mink
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Director: Delbert Mann
Music: George Duning
Cinematography: Russell Metty
A screwball-inflected US chick-flick pits a blonde bombshell Doris Day against a dapper Cary Grant, under the helm of the Oscar-winner director Delbert Mann. Day plays an NYC career woman Cathy Timberlake, embarks on a seesaw with a wealthy middle-aged man-about-town Philip Shayne (Grant), in their romantic entanglement which the man (naturally) wants to keep it casual but the woman (also naturally and morally correctly) doesn’t want to relinquish her virginity before marriage.
The meet-cute premise is blank beggar belief (the chauffeur of his Rolls Royce must be a sterling matchmaker), but magnificently, the film deploys pleasurable set pieces (whether it is a rash or under the influence of liquor) to sabotage Philip’s advances and countervails the frivolousness with Cathy’s oscillation, she is endowed with the dream of every wide-eyed bachelorette, courted by a minted knight in shining armor, only in her case, not for marriage but dalliance, and that is her conundrum.
So, it goes without saying that the cut-the-Gordian-knot solution is to tie the knot, but for an incorrigible bachelor like Philip, Cathy, the destined ultimate victor, needs an operative ploy to jolt him into the action, which is, she pretends to go with another suitor (the unassuming John Astin) to a motel, to make Philip jealous, to make him fight for her, a golden rule to all the girls in the same fix: you must prove yourself to be desirable first and foremost, other virtues can wait afterwards.
The dialogue is snappy and chirpily facetious as expected, Audrey Meadows is one sterling one-liner thrower as Cathy’s roommate-and-best-friend Connie and Gig Young emerges as a repartee-prone right-handed man of Philip, blithely wallows in the gay innuendo, a light-hearted running gag. The two leads, both are too long-in-the-tooth for their characters nevertheless, are a charming match, Day, oozes with pizzazz in her jauntiness and comic rhythm, whereas a genial Grant takes an essentially patronizing role with his de rigueur panache, a job only a bankable matinee idol can excel at.
In the main, THAT TOUCH OF MINK is a good-natured, tongue-in-the-cheek rom-com, completely at ease with its fine amalgamation of cartoony decorousness and appealing retro-flair, no frippery, no particular insight neither.