An unimpressive but well intending man is given the chance to marry a popular actress, of whom he has been a hopeless fan. But what he doesn't realize is that he is being used to make the actress' old flame jealous.
Jeff wants to get married to Virginia, but Virginia won't marry until her older, hard-to-please sister Angelica gets married off first. Jeff pretends that a shy, never-married nobody he has just met is really a great lover, in order to get Angelica interested in him. Written by
Wacko comedy! From the best straight face of filmdom
Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd and Buster Keaton were the top comedy actors of early filmdom, each with his own characteristic persona. And, among all of the early and later comedians, none played a better dumb straight face role than Keaton. Not until Peter Sellers came along was there another actor who could so well mix straight face with buffoonery, slapstick, screwball antics and clever but ever so short, lines.
Keaton proved to be as good in the talkies as he had been in the silent movies. But for the stripping of his creative freedoms in new contracts after the advent of sound, he might have given us many more years of great comedic roles. Thankfully, recent generations are coming to see the genius and talent of this great entertainer.
It is tempting, as some reviewers have alluded, to judge Keaton mostly on his slapstick scenarios, which were often so prominent in his best silent films. But, Keaton was so much more than falling down comedy. And he continued to show his broader genius into his first talkies, as this film shows even as the studios kept imposing more and more strictures that would eventually lead him to a premature retirement from film-making.
In Parlour, Bedroom & Bath, we see Keaton at his deadpan best. Just listen, look and laugh. How anyone can watch this film and not howl during a good half dozen segments is beyond me. The film itself is wacko from the start. So, put the best wacko actor of the time in it and all you have is a great laugh vehicle to enjoy time and again.
PB & B pokes fun at a lot of aspects and stations of life. The rich and trivial, success and workaholics, glamor and the plain, marriage and love, fidelity and infidelity all get a little treatment with humor and slapstick. It's too bad for those few folks who may have watched this film and just don't know how to laugh. Sometimes, we have to look for the genius and great in the simple. And there's plenty of that in this film. I wish all who watch it anew the same or more laughter from the head and the heart that I have had.
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