Saturday, February 5, 2011

#238 The Awful Truth (1937)


Director: Leo McCarey

Cast: Cary Grant, Irene Dunne, Ralph Bellamy, Alexander D'Arcy, Cecil Cunningham, Molly Lamont, Esther Dale

A silly little comedic romance– again, wholly carried by the dynamic Cary Grant and his opposing leading lady's (whomever she may be at the time) charisma and likability as a couple. In the story, two sweethearts' jealousy and suspicions lead to a quickly-arrived-upon divorce. The real drama, however, is involved in the time leading up to the finalization of their arrangement: as the two begin dating others, bumping into one another at inopportune moments, and parade through a variety of uncomfortable, chuckle-worthy situations. The inevitable, however, does arrive... and on the night that their divorce is going to become official to boot. The two find themselves under very expected circumstances alone at a secluded cabin. Dot dot dot...

The charm of this film, again, is purely the dynamism that exists between the two lead actors. The script carries legend of being extremely improvised, and it shows. The laughs are in the subtleties, the timing, the facial expressions... some of the brilliant things about films (and real life) that can never be translated into writing. The role of dancing, songs, games, drinks, and even simple introductions all play a key role in bringing these two bickering lovebirds away from one another and simultaneously right back into each others' arms.

Although I often wonder how so many Cary Grant movies made the 1001 list since they are all so simplistic, silly, and sweet, but then I find myself enjoying each one as much as the last.

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