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A young man falls in love with a girl from a rich family. His unorthodox plan to go on holiday for the early years of his life is met with skepticism by everyone except for his fiancée's eccentric sister and long suffering brother.
Tess and Sam work on the same newspaper and don't like each other very much. At least the first time, because they eventually fall in love and get married. But, Tess is a very active woman and one of the most famous feminists in the country; she is even elected as "the woman of the year". Being busy all the time, she forgets how to really be a woman and Sam begins to feel negleted. Written by
Chris Makrozahopoulos <firstname.lastname@example.org>
There are a few George Stevens films that I've connected with (Swing Time, of course, but that's not Stevens that makes it work, and Penny Serenade with Cary Grant, and Giant with Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor much later). But most of his films have some awkward or artless feeling to them that put me off, like Shane, a western of some fame that I can't even make it through, and I'll watch almost anything.
And so there is this one, somewhere in the middle. It's oddly called Woman of the Year (for an award she wins that doesn't completely matter to the plot). It stars two of the most lovable and funny people out there, Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy in their first film. (They made nine together.) Maybe Stevens was too busy making anti-Nazi films to notice that he had some goods here that other directors would die for, but the plot drags, the filming is surprisingly lifeless (even though Stevens started out as a cinematographer). Most of all, the two actors are rarely given room to make their chemistry ignite. And I'm a fan of the two of them, so there was fence to cross on that score.
I know, I know, the movie even won academy awards for the writing. So take this all as just one person's take. And see for yourself. It is in fact well written, and the idea is fresh enough to start. It just should have more velocity than it does.
The plot circles around an unlikely romance (very screwball comedy stuff) that gets consummated (a screwball comedy no-no, until the last scene), and then has some funny but now familiar gags in the home (the kitchen scene in particular). This is actually odd for 1942, when men are mostly likely not competing for kitchen space with their new wives, but are instead going to war. (It's like there's a Depression backdrop here that someone forgot to notice was no longer appropriate. In 1937, moviegoers might dream of having just such a kitchen and such a life, and when things go wrong it's truly funny, but I'm not so sure in 1942.)
Take two very opposite news writers and have them clashing and then falling in love (the woman a worldly political writer who speaks a dozen languages, the man a likable but uncomplicated sports writer). Have their careers get in the way of their love affair. Have a Euro-based intellectual set and the salty stadium and bar crowd mingle (including one of my favorites, William Bendix). You get the idea. If there are not always sparks, there is a little smoke.
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