Friday, January 19, 2007

I Don't Know What Leonard Maltin Wants From Me

I pronounce DOCTOR, YOU MUST BE KIDDING a perfectly pleasant artifact of a certain kind of Hollywood machinery. Leonard Maltin (in my 1993 Movie Guide with the cover torn almost completely off with use - yea, this book was my very Bible!) calls it a "BOMB" (caps his). Once again I'm forced to wonder where Mr. Maltin and I parted ways. I can imagine that someone might not enjoy DOCTOR, YOU MUST BE KIDDING for any number of reasons. But the colors are nice. Mort Sahl is funny as the nightclub owner, if you like Mort Sahl. It features a mod rock combo called The Wild Affair, who play at a place named The Green Orchid. It has the Incredible Hulk and Dobie Gillis in it! (I mean Bill Bixby and Dwayne Hickman.) Sandra Dee gives a performance weighted with a kind of offhand naturalism that plays well against the stylized absurdity of the plot. Why must we call it a "BOMB" in such big letters? Surely we can think of a nicer way to voice our disapproval. All in all, it makes me contemplate what Jim Whorton said about Richard Nixon. Mr. Maltin, you old trickster, you have me thinking about problems of deep morality! And for that, sir, I salute you.