What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that 1959's Pillow Talk is a romantic comedy that reflects its period's attitudes toward women, sexuality, and what was perceived as funny. Popular, even iconic, this film is packed with sexual innuendo and coy double meanings. While there is no overt sexual activity, other than some passionate kissing and a young man feebly trying to force his attention on the leading lady, the story is about relationships -- both those that are purely sexual and those that are romantic. More decades-old values onscreen: a featured player with a chronic hangover is seen as humorous, as are several scenes in which characters get very, very drunk; women are referred to as "girls"; homosexuality and obesity are mocked; there's no ethnic diversity; characters smoke; and the glamorous wardrobe includes lots of fur.
- Families can talk about how films of this ear are fun but depict prejudice against different groups. Do you ignore the racism, sexism, and fat-phobia of the film and only look at the comic storyline?
- How much do you know about the '50s? What has changed? How have romantic comedies changed?
- Have you seen other Doris Day movies? Do you find them fun even though the attitudes in them are dated?