MOVIE: *** (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
One of the best things about reviewing DVDs and Blu-rays is that I get a chance to watch a lot of classic and significant films I otherwise wouldn’t get around to watching. It’s not that “Pillow Talk” is “Citizen Kane,” so I don’t imagine I ever would have gone out of my way to see a light sex romp with Doris Day and Rock Hudson. But thanks to Universal’s release of the film in a Blu-ray book for the studio’s 100th anniversary, I have.
“Pillow Talk” tells the story of modern, single career woman Jan (Doris Day) who is forced to share a telephone party line with playboy Brad (Rock Hudson), who lives in her building. They don’t particularly like each other on the phone, but when they meet in person, there’s a spark. Brad pretends to be a wealthy Texan in a chance to woo her without her knowing his true identity.
There’s a huge admiration from the public for the sex comedies of the 60s, even if the sex in these sex comedies are quite tamed and toned down for the relatively repressed time. This sanitized sexiness is a lot of fun to watch, especially in retrospect, and it often dwarfs the cute formula of the modern romantic comedy.
My only real problems come from the trappings of the 60s, in terms of filmmaking. Here was a time when films were really experimenting with the widescreen format, but the directors and cinematographers hadn’t mastered the close-up. Widescreen films from this era tend to be somewhat uninspired, featuring fantastic composition but relatively little depth. This is, of course, something I overcome as a film watcher in the modern era, and I can definitely get past this element for a film as cute as this.
“Pillow Talk” is as light and fluffy as its title implies. There’s no major danger to the characters, aside from embarrassment and general emotional anxiety. Instead, it’s a fun film to watch unfold, resting on the shoulders of its charismatic stars. Even if the idea of a telephone party line is as archaic as a slide ruler, it’s a cute film to enjoy.
New bonus material to this Blu-ray book include the featurette “Back in Bed with Pillow Talk” and “Chemistry 101: The film Duo of Doris Day and Rock Hudson.” There’s also a feature commentary with film historians Jeff Bond, Julie Kirgo and Nick Redman.
Additional bonus material includes the 100 Years of Universal featurettes “Restoring the Classics,” “The Carl Laemmle Era” and “Unforgettable Characters.”