Sunday, April 9, 2017

Monkees--"The Chaperone"

    Remember way back in the second episode when Micky oddly had knock out pills on him? I commented, probably with 21st century cynicism, that he must have nefarious intentions with girls. Then “The Chaperone” comes along to present all the guys in a bad light. In the teaser, they are stalking a girl through binoculars with whom Davy is infatuated. Maybe I am viewing the situation again through 21st century cynicism and this sort of thing was sweeter in a more innocent time.
    The girl's name is Leslie. She likes Davy, but says her father is too strict to allow the two to see each other. He is a rigid, World War II era general who will not budge. Leslie's friend notes her father does allow Leslie to attend chaperoned parties. So the guys plan a chaperoned party. The only problem is finding a chaperone. Their landlord Babbitt wants money, and heir visiting housekeeper, Ms. Weefers, passes out drunk just before the General arrives with Leslie.
     In comes Micky to save the day by posing as Miss Arcadia any hope of the General leaving the party are dashed when he takes a liking to Miss Arcadia. Babbitt does too. The ruse goes on for a while with Micky fighting off the unwanted attention until the General overhears Davy revealing Miss Arcadia's real identity. The General is upset he has been tricked, but even more upset Leslie did not just ask if she could see Davy. Nothing really changes, of course. Although Leslie can go out now, she takes a large guard dog with So no one learned any valuable lessons.
    There are four musical romps in “The Chaperone.” I am torn between whether I prefer the one in which the guys are decorating the pad for the party with disastrous results or the party itself, complete with Tarzan and Mr Clean dancing among the teeny boppers. Tarzan wings in after a girl says she wants a real man. Mr. Clean is just there fr the dirty windows. The references went more high class with the Pygmalion homage sequence in which Davy and Peter work to turn Ms. Weefers into a lady.
  “The Chaperone" has a lot of funny moments as well as some amusingly weird ones. It is bemusing to see the guys stalking a girl, but their hearts were in the right place. The general seems like a pitiable guy. He is obviously lonely and gets played for a fool. Yet he learns nothing. Everyone is in the same spot as they were in the beginning. The resolution, such that it is, satisfies my 21st century cynicism.
     Rating: *** (out of 5)

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