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A teenage American-British girl while visiting her father, is thrown into London society during the “Debutante Season”.

This past month, while my aunt was vacationing at our house, we watched a ton of classic movies from the 50s a& 60s. One of those movies was called The Reluctant Debutant starring a very young Sandra DeeRex Harrison, Kay Kendall, & a dashing & also very young John Saxon. Murder, She Wrote‘s Angela Lansbury also makes an appearance in this movie.

My aunt & I were talking about Sandra Dee & how my aunt idolised her as a teenager living in Taiwan. This prompted me to search for a Sandra Dee movie for us to watch together. I felt like Gidget has been watched too many times already, so I settled upon this one (as mentioned above). I was mostly interested in this movie because I had read in the movie summary that Rex Harrison was going to be portraying Sandra Dee’s father in this movie.

Most movies from this 1950s era really intrigue & interest me. I love the fashion that the girls & women wear, & I love all of the tiny, speedy, zippy little sports cars the actors drive in all of the movies. For example, I just adore the little yellow convertible Audrey Hepburn drives in the movie How To Marry A Millionaire. She just zips & zags along the busy streets of Paris with Peter O’Toole in the passenger seat with a look of sheer panic on his face for the daredevil way she drives her tiny little auto. In this movie (The Reluctant Debutante), some of the clothes & dresses Sandra Dee wears is so pretty, I wish I could pull of wearing clothes like that, but other times the outfits make her character look younger than she should be in the movie.

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I adore Rex Harrison in this movie as the doting father & loving husband who’s often caught between doing what his wife says & making his daughter happy. I love how Rex’s character is sort of a goofball (funny) around Kay Kendall’s character (his character’s wife), yet he still shows his tender “dad” side to Sandra’s character. Kay Kendall plays the role of stepmother-who-competes-against-other-debutant-mothers perfectly. Kay’s character is always competing with her cousin (played by Angela Lansbury), who is trying to throw her daughter a coming-of-age announcement, debutante party. So Kay‘s character, who is always trying to out do her cousin in their social group’s popularity, tries to announce her stepdaughter’s coming-of-age in the debutante arena just to get her time in the spotlight. It’s so funny how the two cousins keep trying to throw each other off by giving misdirection & misinformation, only to end up with things working out best for the children they’re both trying to keep apart.

My all time favorite part of this movie was the blossoming romance between Sandra Dee’s beautiful & sensible character & John Saxon’s handsome & bold character. Even though Sandra’s stepmother is trying to keep her away from John’s character due to an alleged scandal that he was supposedly involved in, the pair still find time to spend together getting to know each other & really build up their romance. Rex Harrison’s fatherly character is absolutely hilarious at these times because he also sort of falls into a bromance crush with John’s character due to their mutual love of music & playing the drums. The husband side of Rex’s character wants to make his wife happy by keeping John’s character away from his daughter. Yet, he wants to make his daughter happy by allowing her to go out with John’s character. There’s a lot of comedic eavesdropping that gets foiled every time the nosy parents are discovered, but that doesn’t take away from the tender & sweet scene of Sandra’s character slowly & coyly seducing John’s character to sit with her on the couch late at night so they could steal kisses in the dark. The sweet moment when Sandra’s character promises to wait for John’s character while he attends a family funeral in Italy. Then, they are so excited to see each other again, & that’s when the relationship really starts to bloom. The couch kissing scene was my all time favorite from the whole movie. It made my heart do rapid flip flops.

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When at first Kay Kendall’s stepmom character thought John Saxon’s character was a boy with a past that would ruin her stepdaughter’s reputation, I was not surprised. I knew she would have preconcieved opinions about him based on the seedy rumors she’s heard through her social circle. Then, throughout the movie, when John’s character continues to hold his head up high & prove himself to be a fine, well-mannered gentleman, I really hoped that he would prove Kay’s character wrong once & for all. In the end, he proved himself to be worthy of Sandra Dee’s character’s love. He proved without saying a single word that he was the boy RexKay’s characters wanted for their daughter all along. I just loooved the shocked look on the stepmom’s face in the ending scene, when the butler announces John’s character as the high titled Italian duke with the heir to a huge family name & fortune. I was cheering at the TV screen that entire time. I loved the happy ending that was all wrapped up in a neat little bow. It was a perfect conclusion to a short & sweet classic movie.

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Well, that’s all I have to say about this movie. I would totally watch this again & again. It was such a fun, light-hearted, romantic movie that fills my heart completely. Until the next reveiw, cheers!

Today’s song of the day:

“WORK THAT” by TERIYAKI BOYZ feat. Pharrell Williams & Chris Brown

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