Carole Lombard, Robert Montgomery
Harry: I guess she’s changed some, huh?
David: Well, she’s changed a little.
Harry: She once chased a dog-catcher a half a mile with a baseball bat!
David: Well…she hasn’t changed as much as you think.
David (Montgomery) and Ann (Lombard) Smith like to think that they have the perfect marriage, but one morning – after making up from a long fight – David makes the mistake of being a little too honest with Ann about something. Later that day, they discover that their marriage was never legal due to a technicality. This leads to a series of arguments and misunderstandings which leaves David trying to win back his wife’s love.
I’ve often thought that the romance and comedy elements of Alfred Hitchcock movies were underrated. So, I was looking forward to seeing this romantic comedy from the famed suspense director. For the most part, it lived up to my expectations. Some of the screwball, physical comedy isn’t to my taste, though the scene in a crowded restaurant where David tries to give himself a bloody nose in order to get out of an awkward situation was very good.
Montgomery and Lombard work well together and create characters that clearly don’t belong with anybody but each other. I was sad to learn that Lombard was killed in an an airplane crash shortly after this movie was made. She was already a well established star, and no doubt had an even brighter future ahead. She obviously had very good comedic timing and was also believable in the more serious scenes.
Another aspect I liked was that the character of Jeff, played by Gene Raymond, who Ann begins to date after separating from David, was not played as a jerk or idiot. He’s a perfectly nice guy who would clearly be very good for Ann. His only real problem is that he’s not David. Often in romantic comedies, the lead will have to choose between two people, one of which is obnoxious or stupid, and one who is sweet and interesting. There’s little mystery in that scenario.
I think I learned one more important lesson from this movie. In fact, maybe that should be a new feature in my reviews, a “Lesson Learned” section.
When your wife asks you, “if you had it to do all over, would you marry me again,” do not say “no” if you want to stay married for long.
10 – 1.4 for some goofy physical humor that I didn’t care for – 1.2 for a couple of dull spots = 7.4