Bell-bottomed sunglasses-indoors-at-night playboy John Gaines (Bill Bixby) is a total sleezebag who picks up a girl at a dance, brings her home for a quickie, discovers she's only sixteen years old, & kicks her out to find her own way home at three in the morning.
Despite the hour, a young man (Darrell Larson) is at the door, bragging he came six-hundred miles to meet John because "I think you're my father," get of a half-remembered college tryst.
Adjusting rapidly to the previously unknown existence of seventeen year old John Gaines, Jr., "but call me BJ," our playboy has a crisis of goals in life & wants to give up being a playboy & build a relationship with his nearly grown son.
His first method of relating is to drag the boy around town meeting women (Diane Baker, Karen Jensen), & introducing him as "B.J., a client from out of town," though even John's girlfriends aren't that stupid & soon everyone knows he has a son.
Or rather, everyone figures it out except his own parents. Instnatly upon seeing him with the young man, they "realize" the reason their son never got married is because he's a homosexual.
The parents are played by Jack Albertson & Ann Sothern as the telefilm's closest things to character actors, they have a "comedy" crisis over this misunderstanding which may have been a daring advanced sidelight for 1971, but they can't wring even one moment of either comedy or drama out of this nonsense.
By the time BJ is spewing teen angst at a man he never met until the night before, he's just too insufferable to care about.
John giving up being a playboy to be a young adult's daddy isn't interesting or credible. By the time he's standing outside screaming at his parents "I'm a man!" because he's so mad they treat him like a dearly beloved little boy, it's hard to believe this dumbass is even slightly real.
But at least both John & BJ are equals in insufferability, so maybe it makes sense they'd eventually bond.
Anyone who can stand Bill Bixby in the first place will probably like this soapy movie. For the rest of us, the period haircuts have anthropological value.
copyright © by Paghat the Ratgirl