For Reel

And So They Were Married (1936)
June 26, 2017, 10:58 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Elliott Nugent
2.5 Stars
And So They Were Married.jpgA reversal of the familiar trope in which conspiring children attempt to bring their parents together, this screwball comedy finds Jackie Moran and Edith Fellows playing two bratty children who will do whatever they can to destroy their parents’ engagement. As the central couple is Melvyn Douglas and Mary Astor, the latter of whom is so storied as an empowered, strong-willed presence on screen that Douglas’ grouch is sickly sweet by comparison. This is part of the problem—Douglas’ stubbornness is hardly convincing, and in many scenes it seems like he simply doesn’t care about the material. It is the amount of screen time given to their offspring, however, that ruins its potential as a screwball comedy. A good screwball comedy typically involves healthy doses of cynicism and sexuality. In pairing that genre with a story about two rambunctious children who become friends, the script completely neuters the potential of Douglas and Astor’s relationship. Regardless, the ski lodge setting was relatively uncommon for the genre and it works well as a device to keep the couple trapped until they fall in love. Donald Meek is expectedly amusing as the exasperated hotel manager.

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