Father Came Too!

***1/2

Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

Whereas today, rom-coms rely on bright young things, smiling glossily to the camera for two or three years before being slung out to pasture in favour of the next teen dream ticket, back in the Sixties it was different.

There was a massive cast of British actors who strutted their stuff like strolling players in any number of films, irrespective of whether they had aged or not. British actresses, on the other hand, were still bright young things, smiling glossily to the camera... well, you can see where this is going.

At the time, most comedy films sported a hapless hero, who battled authority to win, or keep the heart of, his own true love. Father Came Too! is just one example of this - and it's a pretty good example at that.

The unlucky lad, in this case, is an unfeasibly young Stanley Baxter, playing Dexter, who is newly wed to bright young thing Juliet (Sally Smith, who went on to star in, well, virtually nothing else). They're planning a fairytale life together, complete with idyllic country cottage, the only fly in the ointment being her overbearing father, Sir Beverley Grant, played with his usual gusto by James Robertson Justice. There's also a hapless estate agent (Leslie Phillips) and a bodging builder (Ronnie Barker), but you don't really need to know what happens.

Suffice to say, it happens in a fun way. Using every slapstick and farce joke they can lay their hands on, scriptwriters Jack Davies (who went on to pen classics, including Monte Carlo Or Bust) and Henry Blyth keep the pace rushing along at such a clip you get carried away with their enthusiasm.

It may never be named as a comedy classic, but it's a pleasant enough romp for a post pub DVD session and gives you plenty of opportunity to play name-that-actor-in-the-bit-part.

Reviewed on: 15 Nov 2005
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Father Came Too! packshot
Slapstick, fast-paced Sixties rom-com about Big Daddy and the newlyweds.
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Director: Peter Graham Scott

Writer: Henry Blyth, Jack Davies

Starring: James Robertson Justice, Leslie Phillips, Stanley Baxter, Sally Smith, Eric Barker, Kenneth Cope, Ronnie Barker, Terry Scott, James Villiers, Timothy Bateson, Philip Locke

Year: 1963

Runtime: 91 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: UK

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