Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Please Don't Eat the Daisies

If you think this is going to be a review of the 1960 movie with Doris Day and David Niven then you are only partially right.

Left - Movie cast; Right - Apparently there was a TV show too (1965-1967)

I watched Please Don't Eat the Daisies last December and when I discovered a couple weeks ago that my library had the book it was based on, I decided to check it out.

The author and her book

Please Don't Eat the Daisies by Jean Kerr is HILARIOUS!!!! It's one of those books where you find yourself laughing out loud and end up reading in one sitting because you don't want to put it down. My favorite chapter was "How to decorate in one easy breakdown," where Kerr describes the process of redecorating one's home. I also greatly enjoyed the chapter "The Kerr-Hilton," which describes the house/monstrosity they bought. The only chapters that didn't seem to fit in were the ones titled "Don Brown's body" and "Toujours tristesse" - a play and short story respectively. However, it is always interesting to read fiction written by another person because it gives you a glimpse of another side of them that you may never have known existed.

Ok, now to the movie.

In writing the script for the movie starring Doris Day and David Niven, the writers took the four rambunctious boys, the crazy old house, the fact that everyone is writing a play, and that Mr. Kerr is a critic. However, the critics part is greatly built up, showing instead of telling, what it is like to be the wife of a drama critic. It also throws in a little marital discord in the form of an actress, played by Janis Paige. Reminiscent of Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, the movie paints a vivid picture of what it's like to buy a fixer-upper. Doris Day, however, is able to transform this creaky castle into what could easily be a chic New York flat. She also finds the time to play the lead in the local town play, in addition to attending plays with her husband. Only Doris Day could do all of that and still look fresh as a daisy (pun intended).

I hope you get a chance to both read the book and watch the movie. They are both delightful and shouldn't be missed!

Click here to see pictures of the movie version of the Kerr home and here to see pictures of the actual home! Each version gets more and more ridiculous. The movie house appears twice as big as the real house and the TV show house even bigger!

Jean Kerr wtote several other books. I'm having my library get The Snake Has All the Lines, How I Got to be Perfect, and Penny Candy.

A note about the TV version:

I just started watching the first episode. The children are entirely too well behaved and Mr. Nash (his name in the show) is suddenly a hypochondriac!


  1. I didn't know "Please Don't Eat the Daisies" was based on a book. I saw the film last month and really enjoyed it, so I must definitely read the book now.

  2. That film has never been one of my favorites, but I have liked what little I've seen of the tv show. The book, on the other hand, I had no idea about, so I'll definitely have to see if I can track down a copy.

    1. I agree the film wouldn't make it in my top, say, 100 movies. I wouldn't mind seeing it a couple more times in my life. The book however is far superior!! I know you'll enjoy it :)

  3. Never seen the movie but I'm a huge fan of the book. Discovered it in high school and I've loved Jean Kerr ever since. I think I remember reading that she was an inspiration to Erma Bombeck. Kerr's humor is wonderful and for the most part very applicable to a modern day audience. Thank you for the pictures -I've always wondered what that Larchmont home looked like!

    1. I'm glad I saw the movie first because it would be a letdown from the book. It's interesting to see how it looked compared to how she described it. I'm getting three more of her books from the library!!!

  4. I've seen the movie a couple times, and only liked it okay. I'll have to try to find the book!