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Sunday, July 27, 2008

DOUBLE WEDDING (1937)

William Powell & Myrna Loy had their best paired outings when W. S. (One-Take Woody) Van Dyke was calling the shots. But this strenuous screwball comedy was megged by M-G-M’s ultra-faceless house-hack Richard Thorpe. Powell plays an artsy free-spirit who falls for Loy’s Miss Prim ‘n’ Proper. Unable to get her to loosen up, Powell feigns interest in Loy’s kid sister (the forgettable Florence Rice) hoping to make Loy jealous and also put a little passion into Rice’s phlegmatic beau (a likable John Beal). ("YUMPH!" is the term used here . . . it didn’t catch on.) It’s all too cute for words in the strained manner of second-rate screwballs, but halfway along the script stops trying so hard and the tremendous natural charm the leads find in each other proves contagious enough to carry us along.

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