Patricia Fowler, an industrial spy, is hired to work undercover at a rival cosmetics company. While posing as a low-level employee, she steals the new formula which the company intends to take to market. While Patricia is under the impression that this was a simply safe assignment, she soon learns that the company is also involved in a deadly game of international drug-smuggling, where other spies are willing to do anything to ensure their narcotics make it to the masses. Frank Tashlin's Caprice is an odd mixture of comedy and thriller making it everything but your typical spy film. With Tashlin's signature style, Caprice is a spy film loaded with incredibly playful sequences, including lots of comedic musical cues and comedy set pieces that certainly make for a unique experience. Due to an abundance of comedic set pieces as well as Doris Day being the lead, Caprice is a film that straddles the line between being a spy film and being a parody/satire of a spy film. For stretches this works well, with Tashlin's bright and colorful palette in full effect but this also seems to conversely affect the success of the narrative. Caprice feels very uneven throughout its running time, leading the story to be overly convoluted and hard to follow at times. I could see how some of this was by design, particularly as another attempt at parody, but Tashlin is far too interested in the narrative and its outcome for this to be completely intentional. Frank Tashlin's Caprice is a unique and interesting riff on the Spy genre, yet it never manages to succeed on both the comedic and dramatic levels necessary to make it an exceptional piece of film-making.
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