Houseboat: the story of an estranged father trying to get close to his children, told by Melville Shavelson in this film, is charming enough by itself. But the wattage of the two main performers certainly takes that charm to a whole new level. Cary Grant plays the main character with aplomb (and a hint of his trademark surprised double-take), and it’s an interesting one: he is deadset in correcting past mistakes and re-conquer the love of his kids but is clueless on the best way to do it. His counterpart, Sophia Loren, is explosive: she is sweet, headstrong, dedicated, and indescribably beautiful and enticing (and extremely well-dressed by Edith Head, always show-stopping); it’s very easy to see why everyone around her feels the way they do about her. The kids are all charming, each in their own precocious ways: the performances of Mimi Gibson, Paul Petersen, and Charles Herbert are all very good. The main song, “Almost in Your Arms (Love Song from Houseboat)”, is beautiful.