Houseboat [1958]

Cary Grant and Sophia Loren look just swell together in Houseboat, and why shouldn't they? Grant was still at his best, Loren was bewitching Hollywood as an exotic new ingénue, and offscreen they had had a torrid affair a couple of years earlier, during the shooting of The Pride and the Passion. The two tanned stars are the main attraction in this romantic comedy, which installs single dad Cary and his three children on a dilapidated houseboat on the Potomac River. Sophia is the maid, except she's not really a maid but the cultured daughter of a famous musician. Yes, this is one of those situation comedies in which every problem could be cleared up if only one character told the truth about the situation. If that sort of thing drives you crazy, best skip this one. It's no classic, but those two icons are awfully appealing. --Robert Horton

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