Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Awful Truth (1937)

The Awful Truth (1937) ★★★★ 4/5

Jerry Warriner (Cary Grant) is introduced in the film trying to get a quick tan before heading to his wife who believed him to be in Florida for a week. Where he was, we don't really know, but it certainly wasn't somewhere a married man should be. When he does return home, he finds his wife Lucy (Irene Dunne) with company of her own, Armand Duvalle (Alexander D'Arcy). She too has not been home, and had spent a weekend away with him. The two realize that neither is necessarily faithful and think perhaps the best thing to do is divorce.

Lucy moves out and soon finds herself engaged to Dan Leeson (Ralph Bellamy), a wealthy Oklahoman. Jerry himself begins to date Barbara Vance (Molly Lamont) and the couple is often seen in the social pages. Throughout each of their new affairs, they find themselves often interfering in each others relationships. Lucy has custody of their dog Mr. Smith, and Jerry visits regularly, usually when Dan is visiting. Lucy, upon a visit to Jerry's home, accidentally answers the phone when Barbara calls. To cover this up, Jerry says it's his sister. To his surprise, Lucy shows up at a dinner event Barbara's family is hosting. However she shows up as Jerry's sister.

By the end of the night, the two end up heading to a family cabin, and they realize how happy the really are with each other.

This film is a screwball comedy with the highlights being scenes where Lucy is playing Jerry's sister, the two are pulled over because of a loud car radio and where Mr. Smith's hide and seek interrupt a visit from Armand, Jerry and Dan. The film is fun and light hearted. The two are enjoyable as they take turns sabotaging each others relationships without doing so at the expense of the person the opposite has begun dating. it is a fun film and quite typical of other films of that era. Irene Dunne plays comedy quite well, as does Cary Grant. Dunne is also very reminiscent of Katharine Hepburn and certainly holds her own in the comedy arena.

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