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Edward H. Griffith
Edward Everett Horton
The Clements father and son live by the generosity of rich women. Max, the son, sets his sites on Lady Joan, who is rich, but down-to-earth and charming. At her house he meets Rosine Brown, an Austrian widow involved with a rich man. Instantly infatuated with her, Max pursues Rosine until she relents and agrees to marry him. But the elder Clement loses 4500 pounds gambling and Max decides he must marry Joan to prevent his father's imprisonment. Written by
Ron Kerrigan <email@example.com>
This features all the contemptible cliches that can mar a romantic comedy: 1) Love at first sight. At the mere sight of a pretty girl, the hero drops the more interesting one he has and immediately proposes marriage. 2) Unwanted attentions. William Haines could learn some tricks from this character, whose boorish insistence on forcing himself on the gal, even in her bedroom, brings her to hysterical tears. 3) Double standard. Both of them are offering themselves to the opposite sex for money, but, though she seems forced to it ("remember, it's harder for a woman") and he seems to freely choose it, she gets his wrath when she decides to marry Horton (before she's even acknowledged Montgomery as a possible romantic partner), and then she somehow gets his wrath again when HE decides to marry someone else for money (AFTER he spent the night with her and promised to marry her). 4) Battling lovers make a good marriage. Though they've known each other for only a few days, one or both has been mad at the other the whole time. Why should they be any happier later?
All that said, this still has its worthwhile moments. C. Aubrey Smith shines in a significant role as "Senior," Montgomery's dad. The father-and-son scenes are excellent. Asther makes a terrific gigolo, and Kerr plays his classic, amiable dodderer, though not quite at top form. Thatcher is fine as the girl who's not in the running, and the scene between her and Montgomery when he tells her how things are is excellently written and played. As to Nora Gregor, her English is not good, and, intentionally or not, her playing emphasizes the negative aspects of the odious cliches. It remained for Renoir to get a measured performance from her in RULES OF THE GAME.
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