A Vincente Minnelli-directed Romantic Comedy, Designing Woman (1957) stars Gregory Peck as sportswriter Mike Hagen and Lauren Bacall as fashion designer Mirella Brown. They fall in love after a whirlwind romance in California and get married. But even with all that chemistry, they find out that their lives are very different. Even so, they try to work things out.
Trouble arises when Mirella finds a ripped picture of Mikes ex-girlfriend, Lori Shannon (Dolores Gray), in his apartment. Mirella doesnt think much of it until she starts designing costumes for a Lori Shannon show, and she realizes that Lori's legs match the photo in Mikes apartment.
Meanwhile, Mike is writing riveting sports journalism, but its gotten him in trouble with Martin Dayler, a mobster who fixes boxing matches. Hes warned several times by his Mooks that if he doesnt stop his boxing exposés, theyll knock his teeth out.
When he writes one article too far, he has to hide out from the mob and pretend hes following baseball games around the country. This, however, doesnt help the piles upon piles of misunderstandings with Mirella as her suspicions of his former relationship with Lori grows.
Not to be confused with the 1990s TV series, Designing Women.
This film includes the following tropes:
- Afraid of Blood: Mirella at the boxing match. She immediately has to leave when Mike explains why people are holding up newspapers to their faces (to avoid the blood spatter).
- Big Apple Sauce: Where Mirella and Mike live.
- Blatant Lies: Mikes story about how he met Lori Shannon.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: The movie begins with its principal players commenting on how they met, and the unfolding story-line.
- Closet Shuffle: Mike, and a shoe eating poodle.
- Costume Porn: Mirellas fashion show is full of the best of 1950s fashion.
- Camp Straight: Mirellas choreographer friend, Randy Owens isnt like Mike and the boys, and is offended when Mike thinks him less masculine. He promptly shows pictures of his wife and children to Mike.
- Dance Battler: How Randy Owens (played by legendary Jazz choreographer, Jack Cole), beats the hell out of Daylors Mooks, and proves that Mikes archaic view of masculinity is narrow-minded.
- Fashion Designer: Mirellas job, and she is quite The Fashionista.
- Fourth Date Marriage: Leads to a lot of Mike and Mirella's problems but we wouldnt have a movie without them, would we?
- Hangover Sensitivity: After a crazy night of drinking, Mike is pained by every sound that's made. The sounds are heightened to comedic effect.
- Intrepid Reporter: Mike. Of the crooked sports variety. So much so that the mob is looking for him, so they can kill him.
- Mistaken for Cheating: Mike and Lori Shannon. Mike doesnt help the situation since he wont tell Mirella the truth.
- Opposites Attract: Rough and tough, working-class, Mike Hagen, and high-society, prim, Mirella Brown.
- Pretty in Mink: A lot of Mirellas outfits involve fur.
- Second Act Break Up: Mike has to hide away from the mob thats set out to kill him, so he needs to stay in a hotel for three weeks, and his relationsip with Mirella is on the rocks because of this.
- What Did I Do Last Night?: Mike doesnt remember his wild night when he won $1200: he met Mirella, they wrote his sports article together, and he paid her $700 for it.
- Your Cheating Heart: Averted. Mirella thinks this, because Mike is too dumb to tell her the truth about him and Lori Shannon.