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As her fifth wedding anniversary approaches, a woman realizes that she is fed up with always coming in second to her husband's advertising business. Just at the moment when she is trying to decide what to do, she meets a handsome attorney, and their innocent flirtation begins to turn into something a bit more serious. Written by
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It's hard to make an excellent romantic comedy when you totally hate the husband.
Lydia (Claudette Colbert) and Tony (Ray Milland) have been married for five years. Tony is in love with his job and his wife is mostly an afterthought. Inexplicably, she accepts this and loves the big jerk in spite of this. However, after years of being neglected emotionally, the problem comes to a head during their anniversary. Instead of a romantic dinner for two, he invites over clients-- clients who Lydia doesn't like--and she has every reason to dislike these nasty folks. She's in a funk and a dashing guy, Jim (Brian Ahern), offers to take her away from this dinner party and she impulsively goes. She returns many hours later--long after all the guests have gone home.
Jim realizes, finally, that his marriage is in trouble. His plan to woo her back--lie to her and tell her he's quitting his job. But, he has no intention of leaving this job--and it really isn't much of a plan. Eventually, Lydia learns about this and leaves him. Soon they are divorced and NOW Jim finally tries to actually do something to win her back. But, considering they are divorced and she doesn't want to see him, it really seems like he's stalking her and is an abusive ex-spouse. It's really quite creepy and about as romantic as a case of the clap. The film might have seemed cute back in 1941, but today it comes off as an endorsement for a man to claim ownership over his 'property'--and Jim would, in the real world, end up in jail for his boorish behaviors!
Considering how good these actors are, the film should have been so much better. I also take off a point for the terribly overdone scene where Lydia keeps falling in the sailboat--it was about as subtle as a stripper at a Baptist picnic. Overall, it's a big disappointment, though the film does have its moments.
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