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John Hathaway is a professor of psychology at Digby College. His students are bored as he is with the students. He leaves college to go to New York to have his manuscript on jealousy published. John and Julie go to Elliott Morgan Publishing to discuss his book. Being that it is highly technical and boring, Nellie wants to focus on the small part about couples that she thinks will sell. But it soon becomes apparent that everyone is more intrigued by Julie than the book. Elliott tries to make advances on Julie while Nellie is more interested in John than his book. Julie, however, is worried about John, while John, who wrote the book on jealousy, seems oblivious to it and thinks that he knows everything about jealousy. Written by
Tony Fontana <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Strange, strange, strange. This does not feel anything like a typical Hollywood movie from 1941. At times, it feels almost like a proto-Woody Allen film, talky and intellectual and neutotic in a very Woody-like sort of way. And then there were a couple of moments when I thought of 60s-style European auteur cinema, especially Fellini. And then there are moments of standard Hollywood-style screwball comedy. And then there was that utterly bizarre and hilarious dream sequence with the Dali-esque set design--I was reminded of that dream sequence from Hitchcock's Spellbound.
Three different writers are credited with the screenplay, and inconsistency in writing styles seems glaringly apparent as the film plays out. Subtle and witty at times, the writing becomes painfully clumsy and forced at others, especially when it goes for a broader style of comedy or when it tries to advance the plot.
I don't know the story behind the making of this film, but it feels very tampered-with, like maybe it started with a clever and original screenplay, but the studio execs didn't trust it and so they hired a couple of hack writers to come in and dumb it down for the masses. It feels like it ALMOST could have been something of a classic. It's still very worth watching, though. The storyline is interesting and, in a way, seems about 30 years ahead of its time. I'd be particularly interested to hear a feminist scholar's take on the film.
Do women really prefer a caveman to an intellectual, a protector to a partner? Despite the feminist movement, it still seems to hold true. Perhaps I should grow a beard.
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