“And dad, I might add that she’s the finest wife any man could hope to have!”
A young professor (Jimmy Stewart) falls for and marries a nightclub singer (Ginger Rogers), then must get up the nerve to tell his strict father (Charles Coburn) and nervous mother (Beulah Bondi).
- Beulah Bondi Films
- Charles Coburn Films
- Cross-Class Romance
- George Stevens Films
- Ginger Rogers Films
- Jack Carson Films
- Jimmy Stewart Films
- Romantic Comedy
- Star-Crossed Lovers
Two years after eliciting a nuanced performance from Ginger Rogers in Swing Time (1936), George Stevens directed her once again in this frothy romantic comedy about a mismatched couple who fall in love at first sight, marry immediately, and (only in Hollywood) struggle through a series of misunderstandings before finally being able to “legitimate” their relationship. Several scenes are genuinely amusing: I get a kick out of Rogers’ all-out catfight with Stewart’s presumed-fiancee (Frances Mercer), for instance, and Stewart and Rogers’ visual tussle with “Walter” the pull-down bed is fun. But many of the broader plot devices — including Rogers posing “incognito” as one of Stewart’s biology students, and Coburn’s fear that Stewart’s marriage to a nightclub singer will irreparably damage the reputation of their college — simply strain credulity, and ultimately fall flat. Fortunately, the genuine chemistry between Rogers and Stewart (former lovers in real life) bolsters the film; they make a sweet, if unconventional, screen couple. Film fanatics take note: RKO-regular Franklin Pangborn plays an amusing but too-small role as a fastidious hotel clerk determined to keep Stewart away from his new wife.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Genuine chemistry between Rogers and Stewart
- Franklin Pangborn in a bit role as a hotel clerk
- Robert DeGrasse’s luminous b&w cinematography
- Several amusing sequences — such as Rogers’ catfight with Frances Mercer (hidden here)
No, but it’s certainly recommended for one-time viewing.