Bob Holcomb (Bob Hope) is a single father who’s unhappy when his daughter JoJo (Tuesday Weld) announces that she’s engaged to a musician named Kenny (Frankie Avalon) who got kicked out of school and doesn’t have a job. Kenny’s over the moon because his grandma left him $1200 in her will. But that moneh won’t last long, and he doesn’t seem to have much of a future ahead of him.
Bob decides to plan an impromptu trip to Sweden, dragging JoJo along with him in hopes that she’ll forget all about Kenny.
But when Bob arrives in Sweden and discovers that America isn’t the only country with its fair share of rowdy boys for JoJo to take a liking to, he begins to change his tune about her relationship with Kenny.
Frederick De Cordova directs 1965’s “teenagers in love” musical, I’ll Take Sweden. The script was written by Nat Perrin, Bob Fisher and Arthur Marx, with songs penned by the likes of Jimmie Haskell, ‘By’ Dunham and Ken Lauber.
As Bob Hope says in the beginning of the film, “Daddy, I’m giving up boys and beach parties” were the words every father wanted to hear in the mid-’60s West Coast world. But what fun would that be in a movie? Tuesday Weld as JoJo is understandably reluctant to give up her carefree and exciting lifestyle.
Hope gives a performance that’s kind of toned down compared to other films I’ve seen him in. This works perfectly for the character of a stuffy and overprotective father. Had Bob been running at his usual 110%, over-the-top style of comedy, the character (and his concern for his daughter) would not have been believable.
The story here is expectedly predictable, but the film is still terribly fun to watch. There are no grand character transformations or deep explorations of how the living generations understand each other, but the film is a delightful way to spend an hour and a half or so.
Tuesday Weld and Frankie Avalon make a cute pair. To my knowledge, this is the only film that the two made together, which is a bit surprising considering that they were both quite popular in the mid-century and they made a nice pair on screen.
I’ll Take Sweden a great and sometimes unexpected sense of humor, too — at one point Bob Hope accidentally stumbles on stage at a strip joint. Thankfully, he remains clothed, but this is one of the funniest moments to occur early on in the film.
Light and fluffy comedy isn’t the only thing this film’s got going for it. As is typical of most films of the type, there’s a whole lot of great music packed in. The music is fun, all up-tempo and with rock ‘n’ roll flair. It’s exactly what you’d expected from a mid-’60s “beachy teens versus square parents” film, and it’s a lot of fun to listen to.
If you’re looking for a fun, music-filled flick to brighten the mood on a rainy day, this just may be the film for you. But beware — don’t watch it in public unless you don’t mind risking humiliation when you inevitably begin dancing along with Tuesday Weld and her partyin’ pals. The score: 3.5/5