A fun mid-Century romantic/comedic musical primarily designed to well-showcase classic Marilyn Monroe. Twenty minutes in, when she's clad in a form-fitting sky-blue cardigan and barely-black dance-tights, singing (and hip-swinging) a juicy, flirty rendition of "My Heart Belongs To Daddy," there's no doubt who owns this vehicle. In terms of camping-up and showing-off Marilyn's stereotype stage persona, it doesn't get better than this.
The framing book's thin/simple enough: A suave, wealthy industrialist (Yves Montand) checks out the lousy off-off-Broadway show that's satirizing him, ending up mistakenly hired to act the part of himself, a convenient position from which to ogle/pursue aspiring actress Monroe. Will she love him thinking he's poor - or are diamonds still this girl's best friend?
Norma Jean's not the only viewer fun found in the film. Montand discovers he's badly in need of professional help wooing his gal, leading to humorous/entertaining mentorship bits with Milton Berle, Bing Crosby and Gene Kelly. There's brief send-ups of Elvis, Ol' Blue Eyes and Van Cliburn - did they dare turn down cameos? And there's a generous sprinkling of other classic 50s/60s-styled chuckles throughout.
The plot facilitates several entertaining dance production numbers, a then-jazzy-swingin' score and some enjoyable VanHeusen/Cahn songs to top it off. When Montand delivers the title tune, it's part toe-tapper, part Renzo Cesana. And Marilyn, unbelievably, makes sexy a song about Adam Smith's division-of-labor concept.
Montand (in a role almost mis-cast with Gregory Peck) delivers solid, from serious to sad to smitten to smirks. Tony Randall's in his well-worn shotgun seat, but he's given no ammunition. Viewers will well wonder why Marilyn's excellent dance/song partner Frankie Vaughan found no other film career but this.
RECOMMENDATION: Essential Marilyn, IMHO, and a pretty good place to start your affair with her as well.