The Aisle Seat - Movie Reviews by Mike McGranaghan
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THE AISLE SEAT - by Mike McGranaghan


Sunday in New York

Watching Sunday in New York in 2011 is an interesting experience. The movie, newly released on DVD courtesy of Warner Archive, was doubtlessly racy stuff for its time (1963, to be exact). Now, it seems almost humorously quaint, especially since it follows the exploits of a young woman desperate to break taboos by - get this - having sex with a man to whom she isn't married! Somewhat astoundingly, this no-longer-edgy premise doesn't play today as camp; instead, it seems like a fascinating relic from the edge of the sexual revolution. Solid performances keep it entertaining, even if one does occasionally chuckle at the outdated discussions of sexual mores.

Jane Fonda plays 22 year-old Eileen, who comes to New York to stay with her airline pilot brother Adam (Cliff Robertson) after a breakup. Eileen is distraught over the fact that she's still a virgin in her old age, so when she meets a stranger named Mike (Rod Taylor), she flirts incessantly with him in hopes of being seduced. Her plans go awry when it turns out that Mike, while open to casual sex with a stranger, has ethics that prevent him from deflowering a woman. Meanwhile, his sister's presence in his apartment foils Adam's plans to have sex with his own girlfriend. The situation grows even more complicated once Eileen's on/off boyfriend Russ (Robert Culp) unexpectedly shows up to propose to her, and mistakenly thinks Mike is Adam. Hijinks, as they say, ensue.

Even if the idea of a woman craving sex as much as a man no longer seems as scandalous on screen as it once must have, Sunday in New York still manages to be fun. Fonda brings substance to Eileen, so that she doesn't come across as just a sex-crazed caricature; instead, she's a woman who recognizes the changing attitudes of the time and doesn't want to be left behind. She is well matched with Rod Taylor, who brings solid comic timing to his role of a guy perpetually in over his head. Cliff Robertson is also good, effectively playing the kind of guy who thinks sex is fine for himself but maybe not so great for his little sister. Watching these actors mix with one another is a treat, even if the mistaken identity subplot eventually wears a bit thin.

Warner Archive has beautifully remastered Sunday in New York. It looks terrific. Also included on the DVD is the original theatrical trailer.

To order a copy, visit Warner Archive.

( out of four)

Sunday in New York is unrated but contains adult subject matter. The running time is 1 hour and 46 minutes.