“A Pair of Briefs” (1962)
If one were to leave the theater a mere two minutes after the start of Ralph Thomas’ “A Pair of Briefs”, one might conclude that between the suggestively saucy title and the opening scene, in which Mary Peach is seen practicing her trial orations while clothed only in the most intimate apparel, that the film is an example of one of those cheeky sex comedies of which the British film industry found a peculiar fondness, despite the outward appearance of being able to carry on with only a stiff upper lip. In fact, “A Pair of Briefs” is a slight, if charming, comedy which manages that most British of cinema exercises: the pursuit of chaste romance while gently skewering one of the grandly pompous institutions of the Empire, in this case, the judicial system.
The film’s success rests entirely on the charm of its principals, with jurisprudence suffering untold fraudulent offenses in the service assuring that the road will be paved, without obstructions, for the enamored couple (who in typical movie fashion, fail to express the most basic admissions of mutual attraction until the Happily Ever After fade out); with the consummation of family friendly levels of romantic declarations far outweighing the concerns of the Realm. As a legal comedy, it is a featherweight confection, with nary an cutthroat antagonist nor a despicable lawyer in view; an optimistically naïve professional view that, if not realistic, is nonetheless rather refreshing.
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