The Thrill of It All (1963)

Beverly Boyer (Doris Day) is a happy housewife. Her husband Gerald is a successful doctor. They have two young children and a very nice, large house. All is well.

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(Image via All Movie)

One evening, while having dinner with one of Gerald’s patients, Beverly tells a cute story about her kids and their new love for “Happy Soap” — a product that just so happens to be made by the patient’s father-in-law, Mr. Fraleigh. Fraleigh enjoys the story so much that he decides he wants Beverly to star in the product’s newest commercials.

While she gets off to a bit of a rocky start, Beverly eventually finds her footing and becomes a bit of a local celebrity. But can she balance her new, exciting small screen life with her home life? And how will her husband cope with suddenly becoming “the Happy Soap lady’s husband”?

The Thrill of It All was directed by Norman Jewison from a screenplay by Carl Reiner. The story comes from Reiner and Larry Gelbert.

With Carl Reiner offering up a parody of the television world and the always-wonderful Doris Day starring, I was basically guaranteed to like this film!

The keyword there is like, though, not love. I’m a huge Doris Day fan and love so many of her films that I wouldn’t quite count this one among my personal favorites or her best. It has its laughs, but I expected more of them and the family-vs.-career aspect of the plot is pretty tired.

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(Image via Free Republic)

I did enjoy the film, though. ZaSu Pitts is a delight in her supporting role, and as usual, Day is the personification of sunshine. She’s full of charm and plenty of fun to watch as she enters an unfamiliar world, nervously practicing her commercial in front of a mirror and later flubbing the whole thing on live television. (“Hello, I’m Beverly Boyer and I’m a pig.”)

If you like Doris Day or Carl Reiner’s humorous takes on life behind the scenes of television, you’ll enjoy The Thrill of It All. It’ll give you some laughs. Though I didn’t absolutely adore it, it’s a fine way to pass an afternoon.

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