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Mary, a writer working on a novel about a love triangle, is attracted to her publisher. Her suitor Jimmy is determined to break them up; he introduces Mary to the publisher's wife without telling Mary who she is. Written by
Diana Hamilton <email@example.com>
Two MGM divas get to have at one another in a most civilized, clipped-consonant fashion in this remake of a livelier 1933 comedy-drama, adapted from a hit Rachel Crothers play. Joan Crawford is a best-selling authoress on the brink of an affair with her publisher, Herbert Marshall, who is married to Greer Garson; meantime, Robert Taylor pines, rather inexplicably, after Crawford. I'm sure Joan was an intelligent woman, but playing a New York smart-set intellectual (with a downtown apartment whose garden is the size of a city block), she's unable to project intelligence; you simply can't believe this clothes horse could come up with the smart one-liners Anita Loos puts into her mouth, or that she could pen anything more complex than "The Little Engine That Could." You sense that MGM is building up Greer as it tears down Joan; it's a much more sympathetic part, and though Greer doesn't enter the film till nearly the second half, she dominates it from there on. I find Greer's charms calculated and her acting style obvious, but she has the audience on her side and is more interesting to watch than the ever key-light-seeking Crawford. Why either should pine after the doughy, monotonous Marshall is never clear, and the fadeout is so plainly headed toward a conventional-morality-circa-1941 ending that the drama never runs very high. (For all that, it's resolved quickly and capriciously, and unconvincingly.) But Robert Taylor, at least, is relaxed and unaffected (especially compared to this diphthong-happy trio), and Spring Byington expertly indulges in a ditsy-rich-lady characterization you'd more likely expect from Billie Burke or Alice Brady (who, in fact, played the role in the 1933 version). The real star is the set designer -- I don't know about you, but I want that weekend house of Byington's, with its water wheel and clear lake and Better Homes and Gardens design.
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