A Guide for the Married Man (1967)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Sex Comedy, Domestic Comedy, Farce  |   Run Time - 89 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Quite dated nowadays, A Guide for the Married Man was in its day a somewhat bold attempt on Hollywood's part to take a satirical look at the ways of the philandering male. Even in its day, however, the satire was never really as sharp as it wanted to be or thought it was; contemporary audiences will likely miss the satire completely and have to settle for the film's jokes. Fortunately, if one can get past the misogyny inherent in the premise, Guide actually is very funny. Unlike a lot of 1960s sex comedies, Guide provokes genuine laughter. Some credit certainly goes to Frank Tarloff, whose screenplay, if obvious, often hits the low humor marks at which it aims. And Gene Kelly has directed things with style and a certain amount of brio, keeping things moving at a nice fast clip and integrating the "lessons" into the main story very well. But it's really Guide's cast that makes it worth a look. Walter Matthau and Robert Morse are in fine form, even when much of what they are doing is playing straight men setting up the "lessons." No one will ever believe that Matthau would consider cheating on a lovely and luscious wife such as Inger Stevens, but she plays her part well. And the cameos, from Art Carney and Lucille Ball to Carl Reiner and Jack Benny, are a great deal of fun. For once, the "all-star" approach works well, instead of being a mere distraction.