Howard Hawks: The '50s
The Big Sky
Monkey Business (January 19/07)
Monkey Business casts Cary Grant as Barnaby Fulton, an absent-minded scientist who is working on a fountain-of-youth pill for a chemical company. Wackiness ensues after a laboratory chimp mixes together a serum that actually works and releases it into a nearby water cooler - leaving those who drink from it temporarily afflicted with distinctly childish personality quirks. Though it suffers from an opening half hour that's strangely uneventful and decidedly uncomedic, Monkey Business eventually becomes just as silly and over-the-top as one might've anticipated. Grant's unapologetically broad performance is clearly the most effective aspect of the film, while co-stars Ginger Rogers, Marilyn Monroe, and Charles Coburn provide memorable support as the various figures in Fulton's life (the latter, in particular, is quite good as his stuffy boss). And while there's no denying that the film would've benefited from some judicious editing, Monkey Business generally remains an affable (if distinctly minor) entry within Grant's comedic oeuvre.
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