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The Facts of Life

The Facts of Life(1960)

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Middle-aged Pasadena housewife Kitty Weaver arrives in San Francisco for a romantic tryst with Larry Gilbert, the husband of a good friend, and recalls the events that led her to her current indiscretion: Two months earlier, Kitty attends the country club's annual Halloween Ball. Although her husband Jack is, as usual, gambling in the club basement, her friends Connie Mason and Mary Gilbert sit with her, while Mary's husband Larry acts as the emcee. Kitty, who considers Larry a bore, is visibly unamused by his stale jokes, to Larry's consternation. On the drive home, after complaining about Larry, Kitty berates Jack for losing more money and he promises never again to gamble. At home he plans to make love to her, but by the time she finishes readying for bed, he has fallen asleep. Meanwhile, Larry grumbles to Mary about Kitty, and later presses Mary to make love, but she protests that she is too busy. The couples prepare for a joint trip with Connie and her husband Doc to Acapulco the next day, but when the Gilberts' son Bobby comes down with a fever, Mary refuses to leave him and sends Larry on alone. At the same time, Jack learns that he must stay home for a business emergency, and sends Kitty without him. In Acapulco, Doc and Connie immediately contract a violent stomach ailment, leaving Kitty and Larry reluctantly paired. Larry has rented a fishing boat, so the two spend the day on the ocean, and although their conversation is at first stilted, they warm up to each other upon discovering that they attended the same high school and had the same home room teacher. Soon after, Kitty hooks a 150-pound marlin, and Larry puts his arms around her to help her reel it in. Their success so enthuses Kitty that she spontaneously kisses Larry. Suddenly aware of a strong mutual attraction, the two share an unavoidably isolated evening at the romantic resort, then finish with a moonlit swim. Afterward, they are about to kiss, but Kitty is cold from the swim and her sneezes interrupt their ardor. Over the next week, they fight their attraction, but finding themselves repeatedly drawn together, they inevitably fall in love. On the last night of the trip, they confess their feelings but agree that it was only "a beautiful dream" and they must strenuously avoid each other back home. At home, each is increasingly unsatisfied. Kitty learns that Jack is still gambling, while Larry's family ignores him when he talks. Weeks go by, during which Kitty and Larry are continuously thrown together against their will at social events, stoking their attraction anew. Soon after at another club celebration, the two fall into a reminiscence about their trip. When they dance, he whispers urgently that they must meet, and she tries to resist but cannot. They agree to rendezvous the following evening, but as Larry is leaving the house, Mary informs him that he must lead Bobby's YMCA meeting. There, Larry tries to rush the children through the meeting, but one boy, a slow reader, insists on reciting a long report on smoke signals. Finally, Larry is able to join Kitty in her car, and with nowhere else to go, they enter a drive-in theater. They are kissing when the neighborhood dry cleaner, Thompson, pulls up next to them and sees Kitty. To hide Larry's face and avoid having Thompson identify him, they pull out and drive away, still kissing. However, the next morning, Thompson announces to Larry and Mary that he saw them at the drive-in, and Larry is saved only by Mary's good-natured disbelief that anyone would have an affair with him. Once again, Larry and Kitty's social schedule throws them together repeatedly, and when one night they each show up unaccompanied to a club dance, they end up drinking too much and leaving for a motel. At the desk, a flustered Larry signs the register as "Mr. and Mrs. G. Washington," after which a drunken Kitty asks him to buy her some coffee. Larry drives to a coffee shop, but upon his return cannot remember which of the many motels was the one they chose, and mistakenly enters a stranger's room. After he has been gone for two hours, Kitty gives up and takes a cab home. Soon after, Larry convinces Kitty to join him for a weekend in Monterey. Wracked with guilt, she sees Jack off on his skiing trip and then leaves him a note, revealing her affair and asking for a divorce. Back in the present, Kitty meets Larry at the San Francisco airport, where she confesses that she has left Jack. Although alarmed, Larry promises to leave Mary but remains more focused on the weekend ahead. They drive to the cabin in a rented convertible, and when it begins to rain, the car's top refuses to lift. Although Kitty wants to drive to a garage, Larry insists on fixing it himself, despite his ineptitude. By the time Larry admits failure, Kitty is drenched, and upon reaching their cabin, they discover that it is full of leaks. As a result of the combined discomforts of the trip, Larry and Kitty grow testy, the other's faults becoming more and more apparent. Kitty's poor cooking annoys Larry, while Larry's cheapness frustrates Kitty. Finally, a careful consideration of the financial burden of divorce convinces them that they have been too hasty, and they decide to rush back to Pasadena to dispose of the note before Jack can read it. With the storm blocking off most of the roads and sure to cut short Jack's skiing trip, they have only a few hours to make it home. Using fake names, they buy tickets on the last flight out and drive to the San Francisco airport. Once there, however, they are joined by neighbors Hamilton and Myrtle Busbee, and therefore cannot identify themselves by their fake names. Their tickets are given to another passenger, and all looks lost until Larry, who knows Hamilton's reputation as a philanderer, privately urges him to give his seat to Kitty in order to join Larry on a "date" with two San Francisco waitresses. In this way, Kitty is able to rush home, but once there, she sees that Jack has already arrived. She asks him if he has read her note, and he nonchalantly replies that he has not yet opened it. Kitty asks Jack to burn the letter, and when she leaves the room, he throws the opened envelope into the fire. Months later, while dancing at a club gathering, Kitty and Larry bid a fond farewell to "Mr. and Mrs. Washington" and happily return to their spouses.