Monday, November 7, 2016

Film Flick: 3 Guys Named Mike

With a title like 3 Guys Named Mike it should surprise no one that this film is a fluffy rom-com about
a woman who attracts the attentions of, well, three guys all named Mike.  The very concept is frothy and meant to be good fun, but it gets elevated (no pun intended) to new heights by its main character. Marcie,  young woman full of ideas, intelligence and opinions, is about to trade in her daily existence for the blue skies as she applies for a stewardess job with American Airlines. Even in the first scene, it is clear that Jane Wayman, playing Marcie, is having a ball and that Marcie pretty much runs the lives of any who cross her path. And though they may occasionally be annoyed by her pushing her opinions on everyone, they love her for it. Her tendency to connect people and put all her ideas and suggestions into action occasionally end in disaster, but the best thing about this film is that it never, ever apologizes for its heroine's intelligence. She may be getting into some troubles, but she gets out of that trouble by her wits too.  It is always clear that one of the best things about Mariey is her brain and she is worth falling for because of it.

As she adventures across the cloudy skies, she eventually meets her 3 Mikes- one is a pilot, one an aspiring graduate student and bartender, ad the last a successful advertising man. Each has an adorable cute-meet with. Perhaps the one downfall of the film is that preference for one man over the others is not strongly stated. One could argue that small signs are there- one treats her as a woman without a brain, another feeds her love of learning for example- but they are subtle. A far better indicator of who she ends up with is looking at who was the biggest star at the time of filming, but that's all more clues you'll get from me! Of course, each man thinks they have something special till they all meet and confusion ensures.

The New York Times was not so kind to this film, calling the film "bird-brained" in its review and accusing the woman credited with the concept for the film- one Hazel "Pug" Wells, who had been an airline stewardess too- of reading too many magazines and doing "too little work," which is more than a little insulting. Luckily, Ruth Brooks Filppen thought differently and wrote the story down. The story was then turned into a screenplay by Sidney Sheldon, who also ended up with a bit part on the film.

Because the story involves airplanes- which can be expensive props- Three Guys Named Mike might also be considered an early example of product placement! In exchange for using their planes, American Airlines, a real airline company, was prominently featured in the film. They were even allowed to feature some of the actual training the airline gave to their stewardesses, which added another way to make the film feel authentic.

However, authenticity isn't why you watch the film, nor even is the romance. Rather the plucky Marcie, clever and smart and unapologetic for it- is who you are sticking around for more than any of the Three Guys Named Mike. 

2 comments:

  1. How fun! I read somewhere that real airlines rarely get used in movies- generally because there is a bad experience or an exciting plane crash that the company doesn't want to be associated with.

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