For Reel

There Goes My Heart (1938)
July 17, 2017, 11:22 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Norman Z. McLeod
3.5 Stars
There Goes My Heart.jpgAlthough screwball comedies had only been hugely successful for four years at the time There Goes My Heart was made in 1938, the simplicity that they were first loved for had come to be seen as largely derivative in the later years of the genre. Much like It Happened One Night, There Goes My Heart concerns a runaway heiress who learns what it is to live below her class and is shown the ropes by a roguish newspaperman who is torn between love and work. And yet, screwball comedies of this ilk come alive in the details, and not only does the film has a number of memorable setpieces given its short running time, but it boasts a hugely talented supporting cast. As game as Fredrich March and Virginia Bruce are as the leads, the film is stolen by the brash Patsy Kelly, who plays a shopgirl with the streetwise to sneak a free meal or swindle customers into buying a clearly faulty product. Nearly everything Kelly says is delivered with a heavy dose of snark, and yet there’s a touching sincerity in her hilarious relationship with her longtime boyfriend played by Alan Mowbray (delightfully named Pennypepper E. Pennypepper). Although they only see each other in the hallway as they are coming from/leaving to work, that sort of efficiency suits Kelly’s practicality well. The courtship between March and Bruce is likable (they are involved in a humorous scene involving musical chairs), but Kelly’s sheer energy as a performer is what elevates the material above its derivative imagining.

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