Starring: Doris Day, James Garner, Arlene Francis
Director: Norman Jewison
Running Time: 108 mins
The Thrill Of It All is an American film about a housewife who finds herself rocketed to stardom as the face of a popular household soap. However, her newfound fame causes chaos at home for her husband.
If there’s one cure for the blues, a Doris Day movie from the 1960s is sure to do the trick. The Thrill Of It All, for the most part at least, is a fun, bright and fluffy romantic comedy with all the pleasant escapist joy you’d expect from this kind of film. However, it’s far from the most original story ever told, at times barely distinguishable from so many other Doris Day movies from the era.
Let’s start with the main positive of the film, with the fact that it’s just so pleasantly light-hearted and joyful. You can certainly point to some arguably outdated ideas at play here, but in reality, this movie is made to make you laugh and smile, and it does a good job in that regard throughout.
As ever, Doris Day is an absolute delight in the lead role, with a sunny smile and a strong-willed attitude that’s just irresistible from start to finish. Admittedly, her performance is so good at times that it’s difficult to really distinguish her character here from Doris Day, something that plays into the often samey feel of The Thrill Of It All.
The supporting cast is good too, with a likable turn from James Garner as a stressed and increasingly bewildered husband-turned-house husband, and enjoyable turns from the likes of Arlene Francis and Edward Andrews too.
All of the film’s joyful on screen energy really helps to make it a thoroughly pleasant watch, and coupled with bright, vibrant colours, a satisfyingly excessive use of soft focus and a zippy, lively musical score, The Thrill Of It All is sure to put a smile on your face.
However, while the film is certainly a pleasant watch, it’s far from the best in the rather repetitive genre of Doris Day romantic comedies. As much as I love films like Pillow Talk, Lover Come Back and Send Me No Flowers, these films do feel very, very similar to one another at times.
From identical plot points to similar visual styles and recurring cast members, there are so many things about these movies that almost blend into one, and the same is true about The Thrill Of It All.
As lovely as it is, I found myself regularly wondering whether I had actually seen this movie before, with some scenes almost the spitting image of Day’s other romantic comedies of the era. That’s what gives this film a rather samey feel, a point of frustration for me having seen a handful of these movies beforehand.
Overall, though, I still enjoyed The Thrill Of It All. Far from an original movie, it’s still a lovely, energetic and bright romantic comedy that will make you laugh and smile. It may feel very similar to other films of the era, but it’s still an upbeat movie that can really lift your spirits if you need it. So, that’s why I’m giving it a 7.1.