Please Don't Eat the Daisies - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Please Don't Eat the Daisies Reviews

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October 28, 2015
Giving it an extra star because I'm on vicodin.
½ February 20, 2015
I love how this movie celebrates how unglamorous marriage and parenthood can be. It doesn't gloss over the problems but still finds joy in everyday circumstances. I'm such a sap.
December 13, 2014
Doris Day should've sings more :)
½ December 7, 2014
Please Don't eat the Daisies is a fun movie. It is extremely funny. Although, it has no distinctive plot. For this, I remove half a star. The first half of the movie, in the city, and the second half, in the country, feel like two different movies. The actors are talented, especially David Niven. The screenwriters get the job done quite well. Because of this, I consider it to be a success. (B-)
½ April 11, 2014
Domestic comedy about drama critic David Niven and his family. His wife is the very charming Doris Day, but Niven and Day didn't seem to me to have much onscreen chemistry. Day is warm and naturalistic and Niven seems like he's acting in a high drama. Despite the mismatched couple, Day and her kids are pretty funny and are able to carry the film.
January 16, 2014
It's hard to believe this was such a big draw when it came out and spawned a tv show. Seems longish and meandering with not near enough comedy. And child protective services would have closed in on all that locked cages for little kids stuff...
½ January 1, 2014
Inside this supposed romantic comedy from 1960 there's quite a subversive film about the role of women in a 1950s style marriage. There's plenty of tension between David Niven and Doris Day over the competing demands of his job and her homemaking, and their four children are far from being an unalloyed blessing. Janis Paige makes an entertaining would-be seductress, and Spring Byington, playing Doris's mother, does a good job with her unwanted "Stand by your man" advice. Doris gets to sing "Qué sera sera" again, as well as the jaunty singalong title song with a bunch of school children, but there's a proto-feminist message in this film that surely can't have escaped many of the women watching it at the time. Even David Niven ends up with questions about his part in the marriage. An interesting and very unusual film.
July 20, 2013
Suddenly Less Sexist in the Last Two Minutes

I'm starting to think about giving up on Doris Day movies. I mean, there's the classic comment about having known her "before she was a virgin," and despite the fact that she's playing a housewife with four kids here, the whole point is how wholesome she is. Unfortunately, in 1960, "wholesome" can pretty well read to be synonymous with "repressed." Despite how meek and mild her husband is shown to be at first, there is still a silly subplot about how she's getting her own way on important family decisions and shouldn't. At least not in everyone's opinion. And while I suppose it's true that there should be agreement on those decisions, it's also flatly stated that they'd been discussing them and agreeing about them for a decade, and it's only as his circumstances change that things might be different. Yes, this gets thrown out in the last couple of minutes, but you still have to get through the rest of the movie to get there.

Here, she is Kate Mackay, wife of Laurence (David Niven). Laurence has been a professor of theatre for years and years, and as the movie begins, he gets his first chance to be one of the seven dramatic critics who shape all of theatre in New York. Unfortunately, it is at the expense of Alfred North (Richard Haydn), an old family friend whose show is the first one Laurence reviews--and it's a stinker. Laurence writes fondly of Alfred's other productions, and he reserves the greatest of his distaste for the show's lead, Deborah Vaughn (Janis Paige). She decides to use it as free publicity and ramps it up to a full-fledged feud. His rebuttal, wry and snarky, catapults him up to being one of the most read columnists in New York. However, Kate isn't as interested in his fame, and there isn't much place for her in his new life. Instead, she would rather be at home with their four evil little sons.

The reason I have been gone for as long as I have, as it happens, is that I was in the hospital last weekend, giving birth to my own son. The idea that he would be as awful as the children in this movie gave me pause for most of its runtime. However, I'm perfectly comfortable putting the blame on the parents. I suppose it's mildly amusing that Adam (Baby Gellert) calls not only every man he sees but the dog, his mother, and random items of household furniture "daddy," but it doesn't seem to me as though his actual daddy is much a part of his life even when they're all crammed into a two-bedroom apartment in Manhattan, much less when Daddy is commuting seventy-five miles or so each way. Certainly discipline is lacking in that household--these are children who are perfectly content in putting a baby into a window so he'll take their blame. One is a ridiculous rules lawyer, who will do anything he isn't specifically forbidden from doing. The other two seem to be egging each other on pretty much continuously.

It's true that I spent pretty much the entire movie contemplating turning it off, and the reason I left it on was my own new parenthood; it seemed an appropriate place to start back up again. However, because I stuck it out, I did see probably one of the most subversive moments in any Doris Day film I've seen thus far. Her character's mother, Suzie Robinson (Spring Byington), tells Laurence that his mistake was letting Kate think she was smart. She then let loose one of the most awful, sexist tirades I've heard in any Doris Day movie so far; she ranted about how, in recent months, Laurence was finally stepping up as head of his household. Bear in mind, everyone who cares about him has spent pretty much the entire movie lamenting his change of personality, and here, his mother-in-law basically tells him that he's finally become a man and is no longer under his wife's thumb. Now, of course, no one is ever under Doris Day's thumb ever, but even insisting that they buy a house in the country instead of being homeless is too much authority.

Okay, it doesn't sound subversive, but think about this. In 1960, it was considered appropriate for the husband to control the household. What Kate's mother was saying was not unlike what a lot of other people believed at the time. Now, as the movie goes on, we get to like Laurence less and less, and his irritation about how his wife pretty much is no longer at his beck and call is something I've seen in other movies--including other Doris Day movies--in all seriousness. However, here, being told that it's what he's doing is what sends Laurence over the edge, what finally makes him realize how genuinely awful he's being to everyone, but especially his wife. Success isn't as important as his family. While having an apartment on Park Avenue would be nice for his career, he's actually willing to do what's most important for his family. Even if his sons are little hellions who should all be sent to military school. Even the baby.
February 6, 2013
Probably one of my least favourite Doris Day movies. For me it lacked a certain something and felt extremely long winded.
September 23, 2012
The best thing you can say about it is that it is "charming". The production is competent, the supporting cast is decent, the dialogue is good. But it's just not the type of film I personally enjoy.
Super Reviewer
April 19, 2012
I loved it. David Niven is a much better actor than Rock Hudson, and the script was written by someone who knows the ups and downs of married life.
½ March 10, 2012
As much as I love Doris Day, this movie never quite takes off for me. It just doesnt seem to play to her strengths at all. Perhaps half the movie runs by before it even picks up steam, making it feel a little draggy. The second half is better but even with that, there are problems for my taste. David Niven is just too old to be realistic as the father of 4 boys apparently under 6 years old. And both actors seem to barely notice their children at all. A little off.
October 2, 2011
A harsh newspaper critic is given a dose of his own medicine when his wife sets up a play written by him many years prior. The actors are top notch but they're saddled with a subpar screenplay and heavy handed direction. Doris Day is strangely muted here.
½ April 22, 2011
Una encantadora comedia familiar sobre un critico de teatro (David Niven), su amorosa esposa (Doris Day), sus cuatro traviesos hijos y su miedoso perro Hobo (quien casi se roba el show). Mucha diversion y amor en Technicolor, mientras que Doris Day aprovecha para cantar tres de sus exitos. "Please Don't Eat The Daisies" se convirtio en una serie de television, pero nunca pudo igualar a la version filmica.
February 9, 2011
Very funny adaptation of a book. Also became a TV show in the 60s/70s. David Niven and Doris Day - the rest is immaterial.
½ September 22, 2010
Kindest way to not like a show: take the downalator.
½ May 18, 2010
An enjoyable look at marital love that can stand external and internal stresses and come out shining. The musical numbers seemed to be non sequiters but they were brief and did not significantly interrupt the flow of the story.
January 20, 2010
Another fabulous Doris Day movie that my kids and I love!!
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