Forever, Darling (1956)

[4.5]

Real life wife and husband Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz star in this comedy about a married couple who begin drifting apart. When Ball’s guardian angel (James Mason) appears and coaches her on how to strengthen the relationship, she decides to go with Arnaz on a work-related trip to Yosemite National Park to test a new insecticide on mosquitoes.

Forever, Darling is as disjointed as it sounds and ultimately isn’t nearly as funny as the stars’ work on I Love Lucy or The Long, Long Trailer. It also suffers from outdated gender norms that see a marriage healed through the wife’s bending to the husband’s needs and desires. The better parts of the movie are when Ball first sees and reacts to her guardian angel’s appearance and a montage of camping mishaps that climaxes when Ball accidentally inflates a raft inside a tent. Look for Natalie Schafer from Gilligan’s Island and Nancy Kulp of The Beverly Hillbillies in supporting roles.

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