Sunday, November 12, 2006


Mild romantic comedy which for me is more irritating than funny for two reasons: its fake feminist plot trappings and the performance of Robert Montgomery. He's a struggling shipbuilder married to a successful theatrical agent (Virginia Bruce). He snags a dream job that involves moving from New York City to New Bedford, and he assumes that his wife will give up her job and move with him. She, however, actually likes her job and wants to keep it, which leads to strife and separation. Her boss (Warren William) tries to help her and a battle of lawyers follows with some standard-issue trickery ensuing between the two sides. The sticking point winds up being a suggestion that she pay him alimony since she's making more money. When an ailing but beloved uncle (Harry Davenport) comes to visit, Montgomery agrees to spend the night to make the uncle think everything's fine, but Bruce's lawyer (Alan Dinehart) uses the occasion to snare him in a legal trap (sort of the opposite of the "Gay Divorcee" trap, using his presence at her place to imply that he's living with her and therefore not eligible to get alimony). I was disposed to like the film because Bruce is so appealing and her character clearly likes her career, but then things get resolved by biology: she finds out she's pregnant and decides to follow Montgomery away from the city to be a wife and mother. The moral of this tale can be encapsulated in one line of dialogue at the end: "Nature--that monkey wrench in the machinery of women's independence." Binnie Barnes and Lee Bowman do fine as friends who try to swoop in on Montgomery and Bruce. Montgomery is at his most doltish and irritating, but I do like Virginia Bruce, so I guess I'm glad to have seen this. [TCM]

No comments: