Friday, 27 March 2015

Caprice (1967)

Caprice is a joyless grating mess of a film that wastes the charms and talents of the two stars. Doris Day plays Patricia Foster, an industrial spy for a global cosmetics firm run by Sir Jason Fox (Edward Mulhare of Knight Rider fame). She crosses swords with rival snoop Christopher White (Richard Harris), both of whom are chasing the latest vital inventions from each other’s companies, inventions such as a spray that keeps hair dry under water and mascara that turns into LSD if you burn it and ingest the ashes.

Beyond that, I am not entirely sure what happened. Patricia’s dad used to be an Interpol agent who was murdered, so she is trying to avenge his death, and White may not be all he seems. Day is a great comic actress but here she feels out of her depth, unsure how to act amongst the avalanche of sixties clich├ęs, while Harris varies between embarrassed and can’t be bothered, and there certainly isn’t the slightest bit of chemistry between them, surely a vital requirement for any romantic comedy.

The comedy is thin on the ground too with jokes that fall flat and an irritatingly self conscious wackiness. The constant shifts in tone feel like the film-makers, or perhaps the studio, were unsure what they were after.

Perhaps more importantly than not knowing what was happening is that after one too many exasperating double cross plot twists, I eventually stopped caring.