Lover Come Back (1961)

Genres - Comedy, Romance  |   Sub-Genres - Romantic Comedy, Satire, Sex Comedy, Workplace Comedy  |   Release Date - Dec 20, 1961 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 107 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Lucia Bozzola

The second of their signature trio of romantic comedies, Lover Come Back (1961) mixes the sexual sparring between Doris Day's ethical career woman Carol and Rock Hudson's scheming Lothario Jerry with a lightly humorous satire of the advertising business. Taking on the ultimate 1950s profession, and 1950s sexual mores, Jerry's efforts to outwit "undersexed" (but divinely dressed) business competitor Carol with an accidentally successful ad campaign for non-existent product VIP and an identity subterfuge send up both consumer desire and male-female sex roles. As with Pillow Talk (1959), the 1980s revelation of Hudson's sexuality adds an extra edge to Jerry's feigned sexual innocence and fears of impotence (not to mention his walk through a lobby wearing only a woman's fur coat), but the joke's already on the notion that men always pursue It and women shouldn't, as Day muses in song, Surrender. Tony Randall's worthless advertising scion is the ultimate example of both corporate vacuity and privileged weakness, as he unknowingly sets Jerry's VIP campaign in motion to assert his negligible power. Snappily directed by Delbert Mann, Lover Come Back became another Day-Hudson hit, and earned an Oscar nomination for Stanley Shapiro and Paul Henning's screenplay.