Saturday, March 29, 2003


An fair-to-middling romantic comedy that isn't quite as frothy as it needs to be, largely due to the casting. Bette Davis (in the years just before ALL ABOUT EVE when her career was foundering) is the editor of Home Life magazine. Her publisher (Jerome Cowan) busts her old flame (Robert Montgomery) down from war correspondent to human interest reporter and forces Davis to hire him. The prickly pair head off with a small crew from New York City to suburban Indiana to supervise a wedding that will be written up for a special June issue--though it's still winter outside. Once they all arrive and take over the house and the wedding preparations, the plot becomes a variation on THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER, with Davis and company the sophisticated interlopers surrounded by midwest yokels. Fay Bainter and Mary Wickes are magazine staffers; Tom Tully is the father of the bride, always nipping off for a drink; Barbara Bates (Phoebe in the last scene of ALL ABOUT EVE) is the bride, but it's her younger sister (Betty Lynn) who gets more attention; she has fallen head over heels for the groom. Davis and Montgomery are a bit long in the tooth for their parts and come off like touring company replacements for Russell and Grant in HIS GIRL FRIDAY. The repartee between them doesn't sparkle as much as it should. Montgomery especially comes off as old and tired. The rest of the cast is fine. The disappointing and predictable ending, with Davis having to choose between her man and her career, is another strike against the movie. According to most sources, Debbie Reynolds has an uncredited bit, but I missed it.

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