“If it’s true that men are such beasts, this must account for the fact that most women are animal lovers.” Doris Day
Doris just recently celebrated her 90th birthday. So Happy Birthday and may there be many many more. Now to be honest I was actually surprised she was still alive, so apologies too Miss Day for thinking your day was over. But in truth no matter when that day does eventually come, as it will for all of us, your day will truly never come because you will always be in our hearts and minds thanks to your glorious voice, your incandescent smile and the joy each of those will forever bring to us mere mortals. Yes many of your films are a little cheesy and heavy on the vomit -inducing sexism of 60’s Hollywood. And yes it must have been nauseating for you too to always play such virginal roles; characters with about as much depth as an EasiSingle. And yet you rose above such limitations and made your films, well most of them, memorable for other far tastier treats. Pillow Talk may be about the virtues and vices of a shared partyline, but what I remember is the dazzling array of fabulous clothes that Jan Morrow (Doris) wears. I mean talk about making a feel person feel sick! If for some inexplicable, inexcusable reason this gem has passed beneath your radar, amend this effrontery immediately, if only for the visual feast that awaits. I want, I mean really want that outfit she wear’s when she first meets Hudson. The story itself and some of the lines are best forgotten, but oh the dresses, the jewels, the bags – they are not forgotten. And then there was her voice, that incredible voice. The list of her memorable performances is long, very long, but one song that always sends shivers down my spine when I hear it is “Secret Love” from Calamity Jane. Now I don’t care who or what it is about, but I dare you to listen to it and not be moved. But perhaps my favourite Day delight is Young at Heart, her 1954 movie with Sinatra. Now already it’s winning brownie points by simply having two of the most amazingvoices in the one picture, but the story, although sweet, is more of the dark chocolate sweetness, and not the 100% pure sugar cane variety. Doris plays Laurie Tuttle, the youngest sister in a family of three girls who inhabit an idyllic world of music, love and laughter. Enter then a charming composer played by Gig Young who naturally all three fall in love with but it is of course our gal Laurie who has stolen his heart. They bond over song and animals and clams! Despite said romance making the middle sister most unhappy all looks smooth sailing until enter Old Blue Eyes. And then despite his less than sunny disposition Laurie falls under the spell as Sinatra sits at the piano in a shabby club, in his shabby clothes, playing and singing to an uninterested crowd. Naturally she’s hooked and the charming, successful, animal lover and all round good-guy gets thrown overboard for Sinatra’s sour, gloomy, insecure and not-so good- guy. And to be honest I don’t blame her; I don’t hold it against her that on her wedding day she skips town with the impoverished, down-on-his luck , orphan (did I forget to mention that poor old Sinatra is so unfortunate he doesn’t even have any family!). Because of course it makes complete and utter sense that Laurie would choose someone like Sinatra over Young. In many ways it’s the less desirable option, and it means Laurie now lives a harder, harsher life in a tiny cramped New York apartment but it’s a realistic choice. And then when Day and Sinatra finally make sweet music together, boy what a no-calorie no- vomit inducing tasty pleasure it is. So Miss Day I hope you had lots of lovely sweet sweet cake and here’s to the next one.