'Wo Ist Mein Schatz?' (roughly, 'Where's My Sweetie-Pie?') is a very early comedy written and directed by and starring Ernst Lubitsch. Although Lubitsch went on to become one of the most important directors in movie history, this early effort is nothing much. In fact, 'Where's My Sweetie-Pie?' has almost the exact same premise as 'Mrs Doubtfire', but without the cross-dressing.
Lubitsch plays a young husband (named Ernst Lubitsch!) who must contend with an overbearing mother-in-law and a wife who expects him to stay at home. When Ernst receives a letter informing him that he must come to the chess club that night for a championship match, I assumed that this was a ruse contrived by Ernst's cronies so that he could go out for a night of drunken carousing. I was wrong: Ernst really *does* go to the chess club that night... in a room with no booze, no cigars, and no sexy jungfrau ... and he really *does* play a chess match. (Although he doesn't follow regulation play: Ernst picks up a chessman and moves it, then changes his mind and moves another one instead. This is against the rules.)
Ernst's wife (named Louise, like the actress who plays her) throws him out and divorces him. Ernst sends her a letter, declaring that he's going to commit suicide. Reading the newspaper in his club, Ernst spots an advert with his wife's address: she wants to engage a manservant.
Ernst's hairdresser kits him out in a ginger wig with a fringe that makes him look like Graham Chapman in a Monty Python sketch. Then Ernst goes to his own (former) home, where of course his wife and mother-in-law don't recognise him. They promptly hire him as a combination porter, footman and butler. Complications ensue.
This movie is amusing but clumsy. In one scene, when Ernst sabotages a spoon so that it will leak, we see a long, long, LONG close-up of Ernst nobbling the spoon. When Louise acquires a would-be suitor who looks at least 70 years old, Ernst chucks him down the staircase. Because the scene is clearly genuine (no stunt double, no trick photography; Ernst is really throwing an old man down the stairs), this action is disturbing rather than funny.
I'm very much a fan of Lubitsch, but even at this early stage in his career he was doing much better work than this film. I'll rate this movie 4 out of 10.
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