Not Looking for Love – Bachelor in Paradise (1961)

A.J. Niles is completely broke and because of that, not including that he owes the government a lot of money, his latest international novel about women will be written in the suburbs, something he never saw himself ever doing. Thankfully he meets Rosemary Howard, perhaps the only single lady in all of Paradise Village and while he might be a declared bachelor dispensing advice to the married women of the community, he cannot help but fall in love with her.

Ultimately, Bachelor in Paradise is a fun bit of fluff which stars Bob Hope and Lana Turner, a film that requires no deep thought to enjoy as it can be taken for exactly what it is. Bob Hope turns in a good performance as an expert on the women of the world, though for someone who seems to know a lot, he knows very little. Turner is the object of his desire though he is quite clueless about it and as the film progresses, their paths cross so much that the two could not help but fall in love with each other. Hope’s wit and dry delivery are showcased perfectly, the comedy perhaps not making people roll on the floor with laughter, but funny enough to elicit a steady stream of chuckles throughout while Turner plays his straight-man or woman as it were. Jim Hutton, Paula Prentiss and Agnes Moorehead all additionally star within, but this is the Bob Hope show as one will plainly see and that is not a bad thing.

As for the premise, it is all a bit silly, especially thinking that any man is an expert on women no matter how many he beds, but it works in this situation and when factoring in the cast of characters that inhabit Paradise Village who are almost cut from the same cloth, it poses more than a few problems for Hope’s persona even though he only wanted to help. While all of it could have been a bit funnier and perhaps a little bit more on the original side, audiences easily being able to predict that Turner and Hope will end up together, it is the getting there, the journey that makes it all worthwhile and here, it was just that.

At the end of the day, Bachelor in Paradise turned out to be pretty entertaining, but it is not a film that one would actively seek out, simply something to catch when it comes on TCM or some other channel when in need of a feel-good picture.

3 out of 5

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