Young at Heart
If you are among the young at heart.“
I think it helps to be young at heart to enjoy this very light and fluffy 1954 musical number starring Doris Day and Frank Sinatra It was originally released at Christmas when they only taxing question on your brain should concern food and just how much more you can consume before imploding. It’s a remake of the 1938 Four Daughters , a decidedly less frothy affair and one most definitely not suited to Christmas cheer , good tidings and all that jazz.
Day plays one, the youngest, of the now three daughters of a music professor whose simple and harmonious (pun intended) lives are hugely disrupted by the arrival of Alex Burke played by Gig Young, (no relation to the title) a songwriter. His good looks, charm and confidence soon has all three swooning and vying for his heart. Naturally Day is his choice and on paper the match is a good one. He gives her a run for her money in the cheeriness stakes; both have taken way too many happy pills for my liking.Then Barney Sloan, or Frank, arrives. Frank is the very opposite of Gig; his gloomy, bleak outlook settling on the film like the skin on milk when you overheat it. Bright sunny Day is bemused and intrigued by him and takes it upon herself to, in today’s parlance, turn his ‘frown upside down.’
The image of Sinatra sitting all lonesome -like at a piano, cigarette dangling from his mouth, crooning away to an unappreciative audience became indelibly marked on our collective consciousness thanks in part to this role. And watching him sing and be ignored, almost makes you stop shoving mince pies into your mouth to yell at the tv, to berate those ignorant philistines – don’t they realise who is in their midst? And then when Day and Sinatra duet, their voices compliment each other like night and day, suddenly you can’t imagine one without the other. He may be the impoverished musician, a little rough around the edges and life won’t be a bowl of cherries with him, but who cares? Just listen to him sing “You, My Love” and declare ‘In my uncertain heart, I’m only certain of how much I love you. My Love’ and I guarantee you won’t miss the cherries, or even the bowl.
So watch with a young heart and succomb, like Day, to the irrefutable and intoxicating charm of Ol’ Blue Eyes.