Starring: Carole Lombard, Fredric March
Director: William Wellman (US)
Genre: Comedy, Romance, Drama
Watch Quality A+
This technicolor version is very clear, especially for the time. The audio and video are both great.
A down-on-his-luck reporter searches out a woman dying from radium poisoning to try and write a story that will save his career. Unbeknownst to him, she has just learned that the diagnosis was wrong; yet she keeps the story going in order to escape her boring life and follow her glamorous dreams in New York City.
Star Power A-
Lombard is magnificent. The more she is trapped by her lies, the more sympathetic and adorable she becomes. March has had more memorable performances, as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, or even in The Affairs of Cellini. Even so, the two lead performances carry the film.
Chill Factor B-
The romance elements are cute, but the screwball comedy and the tension of keeping up the lie distract from the atmosphere. In the end, your date will be charmed by Hazel Flagg, but perhaps not enamored with the love story.
Mental Health Check C+
The film is very funny, but the continuously growing stakes of the lie give the movie a pervasive sense of anxiety. It is ridiculous and continually tries to top it's own sense of the ridiculous, but it is far from relaxing.
Overall Grade B+
The movie has the pace and absurd characters of a modern romantic comedy, but with the gender and relationship sensibilities of a century ago. It's a fun but flawed movie, yet the most memorable aspect might be the gossip about the dynamic between Lombard and March during the filming.