is a tender, poignant and consistently funny look at the adventures, or
rather the misadventures, in the ways of love encountered by the
gullible and guileless lady known as Charity Hope Valentine. Charity is
a dance hostess who always gives her heart and her dreams to the wrong
Charity when she is involved with a married man, whom she hopes will be
her fiancÚ just as soon as he divorces his wife. She meets him in the
park where she sings of her fondness of him -You Should See Yourself,
but he does not reciprocate her kind sentiments with any sweet talk. She
fantasizes about the wonderful life they will share when they are
married, and even plans to buy furniture for their future home. When she
romantically suggests her love throw something into the beautiful lake
for good luck, he catches her off guard. Instead of tossing in the
traditional coin and making a wish, he throws her in and steals her
purse which contains her life savings. Poor Charity is pulled out of the
lake by a passer-by, and reports her misfortune to the police.
Back at the
Fan-Dango ballroom where she works, Charity admits once again to her
girlfriends that she let another man take advantage of her. The night at
the dance hall begins with Big Spender and Charity suddenly runs out of
the dance hall; she vows to never fall for another man and let him get
her hopes up for a happy ending.
the street Charity is caught in the middle of a fight between Vittorio
Vidal, the famous film star, and his mistress Ursala. Charity lets Vidal
take her into the lavish Pompeii Club for the evening -Rich Man's Frug.
Vidal talks of Ursala the whole night and uses Charity as an escort. She
calls her girlfriends at the Fan-Dango ballroom, and has Vittorio talk
to them to prove she is out with the celebrity. In all of the
excitement, Charity faints. Vittorio brings her to his apartment, where
she recovers. She sings If My Friends Could See Me Now, and just as
Charity is about to make a move on Vittorio, they are interrupted by
Ursala. Charity ends up hiding from Ursala in a closet-like armoire all
night. She hears Vittorio sing Too Many Tomorrows to Ursala, tries
smoking a cigarette in the armoire, and finally peaks out from her
hiding place and just watches the couple. In the ultimate insulting
gesture, Vittorio brings Charity out of the closet the next morning
while Ursala is still there to see her leave.
girlfriends at the dance hall are shocked that Charity did not receive a
substantial monetary gift from Vittorio. They all dream of a better life
-There's Gotta Be Something Better Than This. The same night Charity
tries to meet new people by going to the local YMCA. She gets stuck in
an elevator with a claustrophobic tax accountant named Oscar, and she
sings I'm The Bravest Individual to give him courage.
an interest in Charity, and invites her to his Rhythm of Life Church.
The Church evolved from a jazz music group, and its congregants include
people down on their luck -The Rhythm of Life. Before the service
starts, the police break up the meeting. Charity and Oscar get to know
each other more. For some unknown reason to Charity, Oscar thinks she is
a bank teller. She likes this idea, so decides not to clarify what she
really does for a living. Charity falls for Oscar, and is soon
fantasizing a nice life with him -Baby, Dream Your Dream. She knows she
must tell Oscar what she really does for a living, but the right
opportunity never seems to come up. At Coney Island they get stuck for a
second time together, this time on the parachute jump. Oscar has a
chance to comfort his Sweet Charity this time.
decides to quit her job at the Fan-Dango -Where Am I Going? She finally
gets the nerve up to tell Oscar that she is a dance hall hostess, but
can't look him in the eye when she tells him the truth. She is surprised
to find out that he already knew the truth; he had followed her there
one night and stayed to watch. Oscar tells Charity that he can forget
about her old job, and he proposes to her. Charity celebrates with I'm A
Brass Band. Her boss and co-workers sing I Love To Cry At Weddings.
Finally Charity will live happily ever after! But Oscar breaks the
engagement; he tried but just can't forget that Charity had been a dance
hall hostess and had been with other men before they met. As they are
walking through the park, Charity trying to save the relationship, Oscar
trying to end it, Oscar makes his point by throwing Charity into the
lake. This particular lake is bad luck for Charity. As she pulls herself
out of the water, a Good Fairy appears and says to Charity, "Tonight, it
will all happen tonight." Charity is again overcome by hope and optimism
for finding her true love, until the Good Fairy turns around. There is a
sign on the Fairy's back which reads "THE GOOD FAIRY - tonight at 8 p.m.