On this gloomy first day of Spring I thought I write about a cheery picture, and one of my top five favorites, "Houseboat".
You can't go wrong with Cary Grant and Sophia Loren. This film was originally written by Cary's wife #3, but since he was having a wild affair with Sophia, she found out, the film was shelved, then re-written, and finally filmed looking nothing like it's original. That's OK with me because "Houseboat" is one I can watch over and over again.
The film starts out with Cary reuniting with his three estranged kids who's momma has just died. He works in Washington so he decided to take them to his tiny apartment and show them around town. Realizing his parenting skills suck he suggests they get a nanny. While out on the town one of his kids runs away and meets runaway herself Sophia Loren. She's visiting from Italy, naturally, and hates her life with her dad.
When she brings his kid back to the apartment Cary decides to hire her because she is smoke'in hot and because his kids like her. He also thinks she is poor because she is a little ragged due to the runaway. Little does he know she is rich and has no idea how to make coffee.
Since they all can't fit in the apartment they move to a houseboat owned by new friend and "Italian Stallion" Angelo who also is a repair man and works at the market. Cary soon learns she doesn't clean, or cook, or do the laundry, she just looks hot and helps revamp the new digs. The kids love her until they see her sucking face with their dad and are afraid she will try to take over as the mom.
In the process, Cary's sister-in-law is newly single and on the prowl for Cary. She and her friends make fun of Sophia when Cary tries to take the help to a formal ball. Cary decides to marry his sister-in-law, then seconds later changes his mind when he realizes he wants Sophia. Angelo wants a piece of Sophia until she pretends she wants to marry him and then he is fast out the door.
In the end, everyone makes up and there is a happy ending for all. I love the adorable song Sophia sings throughout the film and there are several cute scenes when Cary is at the laundromat and when the kids are painting the house.
Cary Grant was madly in love with Sophia at the time he signed on this film, and it has been said he loved her more than any other woman he was with. When she dumped him and quickly married, Cary was crushed and tried to back out of the film. The director promised him he would make the filming go smoothly and Cary decided to continue.