MATTHAU SEEKS CASH COW
I had the intense pleasure of reacquainting myself with Elaine May's A New Leaf (1971) a few days ago and it was every bit as funny and entertaining as I remembered.
Walter Matthau plays Henry Graham, a privileged snob who burns through his inheritance (unfortunate, no?) and must marry a wealthy woman in order to maintain his high style of living.
The only suitable woman he can find is Henrietta Lowell (May), a clumsy but well-heeled botanist who constantly offends Graham's delicate sensibilities with her poor table manners (she spills! she has to be checked for crumbs!) and horrible taste (she favors Mogen David extra-heavy Malaga wine spritzers, sucked through a straw).
The look on Matthau's face as he imagines the sheer horror of a ready-to-wear suit is priceless.
May's screenplay, based on Jack Ritchie's short story, "The Green Heart," is darkly comic with some sweet flourishes.