MAD ABOUT MEN brings back Glynis Johns as mermaid ‘Miranda’, along with her doting nurse Margaret Rutherford from the 1948 favorite, but this time,”tailing” six years later in 1954, Glynis glows in Technicolor. And there’s two of her, a prize catch.
Gym teacher ‘Caroline Trewella’ (Our Girl Glynis) inherits a house on the coast of Cornwall (in England, for the geographically challenged), where in the seaside basement she discovers her lookalike cousin ‘Miranda’, blessed/cursed with being a mermaid. Quickly bonding, they hatch a switcheroo plan. Caroline takes off on a bicycle tour, partially to think over her engagement to a major twit, while Miranda, with the aid of her enthusiastic earthbound ally ‘Nurse Carey’ (Dame Rutherford) comes ashore to impersonate her. Besides doing a favor for her romance-sytmied cousin, this then presents the beguiling saltwater siren with another opportunity to land more landsmen for herself. Adding to the man-snaring web is Miranda’s mischievous mer-gal colleague ‘Berengaria’ (Dora Bryan), who is more trouble than a U-boat.
Once more written by Peter Blackmore, directed this time by Ralph Thomas, this follow-up frolic with flirting fishwitches is as much fun as the first film, with the added lure of color. If anything, it’s even cheekier and sexier; the lovely and charming Johns is fearless when it comes to being sweetly seductive. Rutherford is a delight as ever, and Bryan gets her share of laughs with a crazy giggle.
Along with an excuse (is one needed?) to gaze at Glynis, it’s a neat time capsule for views of Fowey and Penzance on Cornwall’s coast (the “Cornish Riviera”), and the disarming fable is adorned with a happy score from Benjamin Frankel. Cool art direction of the cove is the work of George Provis. The indispensable “Piscatorial Extremity” sported by Miranda and Berengaria are once again duly credited “Tails by Dunlop”.
With Donald Sinden, Nicholas Phipps, Anne Crawford, Noel Purcell. 90 minutes.