Tony Mastroianni Review Collection

Lemmon Juices Up Sagging Sex Script

Cleveland Press November 15, 1963

Jack Lemmon is still busy saving movies. The latest one to which he is lending his considerable comic talents is "Under the Yum Yum Tree," a movie version of the one -- joke stage hit of a few seasons back.

This is the one about a young couple, Carol Lynley and Dean Jones, who decide to live together in a purely platonic relationship. It's her idea that by this means they will be able to judge their "character compatibility."

They set up housekeeping in an apartment building owned by Jack Lemmon. Lemmon has had affairs with all the other women who had the apartment -- and presumably with all the other women in the building -- and he isn't about to let the presence of a boy friend spoil his record.

Lemmon as the lecherous landlord who rents only to women -- and only to pretty ones at that -- leers his way through the part beautifully.

But even with Lemmon bouncing in and out of comic situations, the comedy gets a little strained at times.

Miss Lynley is lovely in an unbelievable role. Jones is right as the sincere but confused young man. Edie Adams is wasted in a straight role. Imogene Coca and Paul Lynde have their funny moments in brief parts.

The film leans heavily on overworked sight gags and frequent glimpses of the beautiful girls who live in the building. And with all those other girls around Lemmon's unsuccessful and strenuous pursuit of Miss Lynley strains credibility.