Doris Day returns but this movie is considerably weaker than the other two. The romance is really bad here and while the movie has some decent moments as you’d expect from any comedy, it doesn’t land nearly as well as the other two. You’ll walk away from this film feeling like it seriously did not reach any of the potential that it could have had.
The movie starts with Doug being betrayed by Gary. See, Doug was that music star’s manager and got Gary to be one of the biggest hits in the country. The problem is that Gary now believes that he doesn’t need Doug anymore and drops him like a hat. Doug swears revenge but ultimately loses his job and has to start from scratch. That’s when he runs into a girl named Martha who has a solid singing voice. Doug is confident that he can use her to get his revenge but the problem is that Martha falls for Gary. How can Doug still turn this into a win?
I have quite a few issues with this film but the first is the whole romance with Gary. While Doug could act coy about how the entire schism with Gary started, Martha still knows enough to tell that he’s not a good guy. He acts hostile to Doug the entire time and always acts like Martha is the only person in the room. Gary is incredibly arrogant and full of himself. I just don’t get how she fell for him from the start.
The romance gets worse and worse as Gary’s bad attitude is exposed and he’s blacklisted from the entire industry. Almost literally nobody likes him and people don’t want to hire him for anything anymore. He becomes an alcoholic and just vanishes. Well, even then Martha is still writing him letters and going after the guy. Now here’s the thing, there’s nothing wrong with her not falling for Doug. He’s a great guy who helps her out a lot. He got her rich and really changed her life for the better but gratitude shouldn’t mean that you have to fall in love with that guy.
I’d totally be cool with her saying no to his confession and staying as friends. It’s rough for Doug but that’s just how it goes and it’s not like he did all of this with that in mind. Initially it was to get back at Gary and then after that he just genuinely wanted to help her out. Doug took his chance and asked her out and it didn’t work. It’s actually a bold move by the film and I’m cool with it but then we have Martha still going after Gary and it’s rather annoying.
Doug still wants to help Martha so in the end he gets Gary back on his feet and sets them up together. Very selfless behavior but the whole time Gary is acting like a jerk to both of them and straight up tells Martha to retire since he’ll be the breadwinner of the family. Only at this exaggerated moment does Martha finally realize that he’s no good…and then she grabs the rebound and slam dunks the ball back into the Doug basket. They get together and it’s probably one of the most blatant rebounds that I’ve seen in a long while.
Martha made it clear that Gary was the guy for her and she couldn’t return Doug’s feelings but now she is ready to be with him because Gary is a jerk? That’s just unacceptable and it’s the kind of romance that doesn’t feel real. Of course Doug is thrilled since it all feels nice to him but are the feelings really real? It’s something that he’ll have to think about in the back of his mind and that’s where things get a little spooky for him. It’s not a romance that I can get behind though and it does really sour the film.
If you cut out all of the scenes of her chasing after Gary then things would be better. Honestly I would remove that subplot completely because I still don’t see how she could fall for him given the circumstances. The guy never seemed like a good person so it’s not like the ending was particularly shocking. I also thought the film could have really had an interesting angle with Doug just realizing that they would always just be friends instead. The movie had a good foundation but blew it.
I also thought that while the film showed how hard it can be to break into the industry, that part could be a bit long. We spend ages with Doug trying to get Martha gigs at various places. These moments led to a lot of fun gags as well but the longer this went on, the more it felt even more personal when she went with Gary. The best gag in the movie has to be when Doug is trying to downplay Gary the whole time but it turns out that he was talking to the janitor and not the director. That was a great twist and I really liked the writing there because there was a lot of good wordplay thrown in for the insults. That was handled really well.
One of the guys that they have to try and impress is Felix because he basically owns the main music station and you need him on your side. Unfortunately he also happens to be one of the most annoying characters in the whole film. He is even more scatter brained than the characters that the actor usually plays and can’t focus on anything. He’s always just getting in the way and by the end he may as well just be another antagonist. He isn’t willing to give Martha a fair shot at all.
Martha also lags behind the previous heroines not only for the Gary stuff but because she doesn’t really seem prepared to go all out in order to complete her dreams. One scene that was iffy was when she was going to throw it all away if she couldn’t bring her son with her. She really would have had no time to raise him while auditioning and it’s not like she could drop him off at day care. Still, it was difficult to convince her and she was absolutely just going to give up. Then she also decides to perform at a very seedy bar even while overhearing a lot of the criminal behavior that the owner engages in. It’s clear that things won’t end well for her here but she goes through with it anyway before being saved by the main guy. Her decision making skills were very questionable throughout the movie.
Overall, In the end while the movie does get some laughs, it could also be a bit mean spirited at times. I felt like Gary got off way too easy and so in the end the movie isn’t nearly as good as it could and should have been. I wasn’t really impressed here and maybe it doesn’t help that I saw this one right after two other comedy films that were way better. Either way you will want to take a pass on this one. It’s not really bad or anything so you could always check it out if you really want something light to watch but you could do way better within the genre.