Some of the wives in question are more daring. Elliot Reed's mate, a French souffle played by Macha Meril, turns up at Martin's pad proffering homemade quiche lorraine. When Martin resists her temptation, she leers, "Wait till you taste my cherries Jubilee!" Next poker night, St. John shows up, hungry for love. Martin explains the convenient presence of his nosy houseboy by telling her, "He's in need of psychiatric help." To which St. John responds, "Aren't we all?" and promptly goes into a striptease samba to demonstrate that she is, anyway.
Nerves shattered by the unnatural strain of fighting off his pals' wives, Martin starts popping pills and tells Montgomery he wants to postpone the wedding date. She promptly runs for advice to friend Carol Burnett, who happens to be Dr. Balsam's receptionist and thus something of an amateur analyst herself. "It's an anxiety complex and psychosis known in the trade as prenuptial dropsy," Burnett explains. Then, offering the kind of useful advice you could still get from psychiatrists in the '60s, she adds, "He's got something real wild going for him on the outside. You gotta discover some way to fight it. The first thing you have to do is find out who the competition is, what they're selling, how they package it, and then hit the consumer with everything you've got."
Martin decides it's time to seek professional help from pal Balsam. In another example of how effective psychiatric care used to be, Balsam injects Martin with truth serum. Under the influence, Martin reveals that Balsam's wife has been hitting on him--which may explain why shrinks no longer use truth serum in everyday therapy -- then comes to the realization that he truly wants to be single. "I'll have the craziest harem in town," he declares.
"He'll never marry," Balsam later confides to Burnett. "It's a psychological truism that once a man gets hepped on married women, he can't kick it -- it's like a monkey on his back." The ever-helpful Burnett rushes to tell Montgomery the news: "He has a 20th century neurosis. The only way you can possibly get him interested in you again is if you're a married woman." Then, uttering a line of such screenwriting eloquence we don't know how it escaped Academy notice, she adds, "Unless the ground is broken, this boy ain't gonna build."
With the help of a male model, Montgomery fakes a wedding, at which a drunk Martin says to Burnett: "I love her, but I'm not sticking to one girl. My life's gonna be one big old happy smorgasbord." Burnett's reply? "If you ever need a piece of herring, you know where to find me."
Now that Montgomery appears to be yet another unfulfilled housewife, Martin wants her like never before. In fact, he wants to marry her. Off they go to Tijuana where (don't ask) Burnett becomes a stripper--a sight so scary it wouldn't be topped until the release of Showgirls three decades later. Though Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed? is not yet available on video, we found it on TCM. Ask your psychiatrist's wife where you can find a copy.