Sunday, 7 December 2008

Love Me Tonight (1932)

An alternative title to this post could be "How can the leads spoil a film". Seriously, how could Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald ever have been big stars? Neither could act, he is barely understandable and none has any sex-appeal. And her singing is completely out-of-place in movies.

The film is a silly operetta-style story, with a tailor under the guise of a baron falling for a princess. It's also an integrated musical, with songs being sang in character, a good 12 years prior to "Meet me in St. Louis". One or two of the Rodgers and Hart also have survived the test of time, in particular "Isn't it Romantic?" which Chevalier starts in Paris, then proceeds to be carried away through the country and finished by dear Jeanette, in one of the best sequences of the film.

Of course, this doesn't mean that there aren't good points, but they are all with the supporting cast, in particular an undervalued Myrna Loy who steals every scene she's in, and certainly the best lines, as the man-crazed Countess Valentine. Seriously, the film could have been so much better if the leads were the character actors...

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