This ongoing series of reviews of vintage Warner Archive DVD releases continues with the 2009 release of the 1966 Jane Fonda/Jason Robards romcom "Any Wednesday." This tale of a kept woman who sees her married man on the titular day of the week is based on the play of the same name by Julius J. Epstein of "Casablanca" and "Arsenic and Old Lace" fame.
The basic premise of "Wednesday" is enough to draw comparisons to the 1960 Billy Wilder film "The Apartment," which stars Hollywood royalty Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine. Robards playing ruthless in the boardroom and the bedroom middle-aged business tycoon John Cleves (who has nothing in common with the Python member of the same name), Fonda playing quirky 30 year-old art gallery worker Ellen Gordon, and Dean Jones of Disney live-action films fame playing kind and loving visiting "out-of-towner" businessman Cass Henderson proverbially seals the deal.
The aforementioned free love set-up, star power, mix of com and dram, and the '60slicious decor of the apartment additionally provide a sense of watching the late '60s - early '70s "Love Boat" style ABC anthology sitcom "Love American Style."
The manner in which Ellen leads John on only to toss him out on their first meeting is the stuff of which classic farce is made. A gradual erosion of hostility coinciding with Ellen facing the loss of her groovy eclectic apartment due to an impending co-op conversion transforms that abode into the "executive suite" of the company of John and Ellen into the "Wednesday" girl of John, who always takes a "business trip" on that day of the week.
The twigs begin unraveling in the love nest of John and Ellen when the ditzy secretary of John offers Cass use of what the secretary believes to actually be an executive suite. This causes Cass to be an invader in the home of a surprised and angered Ellen.
The secretary also sending John spouse Dorothy Cleves to the apartment raises both the stakes and the hilarity. This prompts Ellen and Cass to pose as a married couple and increases the leverage of Cass in his adversarial business dealings with John.
Of course, an initially figuratively and later literally in the dark Dorothy invites "the Hendersons" to join her and John for dinner. This, also of course, leads to ensuing hilarity.
The final act of this film that retains a live-stage feel throughout largely consists of a series of awakenings (rude and otherwise) for Ellen; like many of us, she realizes the reality of her situation at a stage (pun intended) at which changing things is very difficult.
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