Film (1968). Universal Pictures. Produced and directed by George Seaton. Written by Robert Pirosh and Seaton, based on I Am Thinking of My Darling: An Adventure Story (1943) by Vincent McHugh. Cast includes Jeanne Arnold, Dom DeLuise, Mary Tyler Moore, George Peppard, Susan Saint James, Gillian Spencer and Don Stroud. 94 minutes. Colour.
Artist Pete (Peppard) is living in a commune loft in New York with his girlfriend Liz (Moore) and several others, all unhappy and feeling they have no purpose in life. A wayward South American toucan, transported on a shipload of bananas, arrives one day; the bird carries a highly contagious virus which causes euphoria in those infected. Liz is immune, but co-operates with Pete and the others when they decide to spread the happiness about. The virus quickly overwhelms the City, causing an "epidemic" of niceness leading to a good deal of Sex. This greatly alarms the government, as sales of alcohol and other Drugs tumble drastically, threatening to collapse the economy. Government agent J Gordon Munro (DeLuise) is sent to find a cure, and arrives wearing a protective outfit similar to a spacesuit. After several failures, a cure is found and added to both the city water supply and to gasoline, to be inhaled along with the Pollution; this shortly "cures" those infected. Pete, again sad, wishes to return to the commune; Liz refuses and decides to free the toucan from the city Zoo. This plan nearly fails, but Pete comes to the rescue, having decided that being happy is not so bad after all.
What's So Bad about Feeling Good? is an often overlooked sf comedy which was unsuccessful at the box office, perhaps being overly subtle in its apt commentary on American society. [GSt]
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