For Reel

The Richest Girl in the World (1934)
June 23, 2012, 6:37 am
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: William A. Seiter

An amusing, if utterly forgettable romantic comedy from director William A. Seiter, The Richest Girl in the World pairs frequent co-stars Joel McCrea and Miriam Hopkins as lovers who come to discover what the heart values more: material possession or true love. Hopkins plays a wealthy heiress that has been out of the press for many years, and so she opportunistically switches identities with her secretary in order to find a man who loves her for her, not for her fortune. McCrea is the man put to the test, and RKO’s top screamer, Fay Wray, plays the secretary. The narrative offers few surprises and it hardly means to – it’s the sort of picture that coasts on the talents of its stars, and, in Hopkins’ case, for good reason (McCrea, on the other hand, rarely lived up to the potential that he would later show in his collaborations with Preston Sturges). An early meet cute between the couple over a game of pool sets the tone by placing the lovers on equal footing – Hopkins is not a naive woman to be passively chased (an idea made literal in another collaboration between her and McCrea, Woman Chases Man). For the suspected gold-digger to be the man and not the woman was an intelligent way of breathing new life into what was already a tired premise in 1934, but little else is of worth nothing.

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