Plot: Jenny (Hayley Mills) is about to embark on her career as a schoolteacher, a fresh start that includes a new home as well, as she relocates to a small town in southern England to begin this chapter of her life. As soon as she arrives, she becomes the center of attention for numerous men in the town and even her married landlord tries to engage her in physical ways soon after being introduced. She is take back by how aggressive some of the men are and the strange arrangements some of the taken men have their wives, but she is resolute in her romantic intentions. Jenny is a virgin and she doesn’t take sex lightly, so she resists all these suitors, even as the roguish Patrick (Oliver Reed) tries to persuade her that sex is just fun, not to be taken seriously. Will she hold firm in the face of all of the attention and potential suitors, or will she give in and if so, who will win her affections?
Entertainment Value: This one is an odd duck, a movie that centers on sex, but remains about tame as can be, with no sex and no real bite. So while the narrative is about a virgin and the plethora of men out to deflower her, Take a Girl Like You is a light, soft romantic comedy at heart. So we watch as Jenny evades all the various suitors and tries to keep her honor intact, which could work if the movie was bold or sharply written, but neither of those are the case here. The movie keeps things tame and safe, even when the more aggressive men are in pursuit, while the writing is passable, but never pushes the premise or offers memorable strokes of dialogue. Perhaps more clever exchanges or subtle wit could have worked wonders here, but Take a Girl Like You seems content to coast in most scenes. This feels much more dated than it should, as if it were from the 50s rather than the tail end of the 60s sexual revolution, but that is bound to appeal to some viewers, I’m sure. There is a certain wholesome charm here, but that isn’t enough to balance out some of the lesser elements. Fans of Hayley Mills or Oliver Reed are the recommended audience on this one.
The cast is a bright spot for Take a Girl Like You, as there are several well known, popular performers involved. Hayley Mills seems like a good choice for the virginal, youthful Jenny, given her previous work and wholesome persona, but she seems in over her head here. This could be because the material is on the weak side and doesn’t give her much to work with, as she normally nails these kind of roles. This was also her first real “grown up” role, so perhaps a little nerves or inexperience were factors, but she still has her usual charm here. Oliver Reed also turns in less than his usual level of work, but again, this is likely due to the script in large part. He seems disinterested and given the material he was handed, that isn’t a surprise. In the end, it is hard to blame Mills and Reed, as the material is so basic and bland, it had to be tough to pull much out of it to make for interesting performances. The cast also includes Noel Harrison, Sheila Hancock, and John Bird.
The Disc: Twilight Time’s visual treatment looks terrific, with bright and natural colors that really stand out, while the image is clean and isn’t marred by flecks or other signs of age or damage. I found detail to be rock solid, perhaps not super remarkable, but quite good and fans of the movie should appreciate the improvements. No issues with contrast or artifacts either, smooth work all around here. On the extras front, we have an isolated music track and the film’s theatrical trailer.