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Young lawyer meets and marries girl after knowing her one day. Takes bride home to meet his mother who disapproves of the marriage. Lawyer thinks everything will be fine as he moves up the ladder of the law firm. He doesn't and things get tough. A baby makes things even tougher. Written by
Jack Pfeifer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
An up and down movie, the ups really spectacular...
Made for Each Other (1939)
"Last year there were half a million divorces in this country. Congratulations."
And that is the beginning of a sometimes-screwball comedy that turns very serious by the end, with James Stewart leading the charge. It could be screwier, and Jimmy Stewart is more lovable than hilarious, so the humor revolves around him as the foil. Carole Lombard, his partner in crime, can be more zany, for sure, but even there, she is more restrained than other films (like "Twentieth Century"). It's the situation, and the rest of the cast, who make this funny...and eventually tragic.
How exactly it drags at times is hard to say. Oddly, even Stewart is a little off base, exaggerating too much. The plot, overall, lacks drive. You might think this doesn't matter in a silly comedy, but it does very much. In fact, because this comedy is laced with a fair amount of normal drama, it needs a basic conflict that dramas need. There are some terrific scenes--the New Year's moment is really moving, and the scenes after that--and these are the reason to watch.
On some level, this is a type of drama/comedy that is aimed at new parents, or newlyweds. The couple's focus on the baby reminded me of "Christmas in Connecticut," and "Penny Serenade." I wish it just worked better, but too often it bumbles along, one little moment after another, the result of imperfect direction (John Cromwell) and a weak script. So it does the best it can, and the last half hour is its best, with high drama kicking in. This is a David O. Selznick production in the same year as his slightly more famous movie, "Gone with the Wind."
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