A screwball comedy in the vein of His Girl Friday (1940). Jerry and Connie are ace reporters for rival newspapers. They are engaged to be married, but their employers try every trick in the... See full summary »
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"Three Hearts For Julia" is another World War II on the home front romantic comedy. Jeff Seabrook is a war correspondent in the process of getting a divorce from his wife. His wife, a talented violinist, wants a more refined husband. She has two acceptable suitors and wants Jeff (who she considers her best friend) to help her to decide between them. David Torrance - orchestra producer and Philip Barrows - music critic. Meanwhile Julia gets fatherly advice from her conductor Anton Ottoway who has become good friends with Jeff. Written by
This overwritten screwball comedy tries to go in far too many directions at once and, like a centipede asked to demonstrate how it walks, keeps falling over itself.
Although MGM's brilliant lighting and lavish budgets could save many a drama, a comedy depends on good writing and performers. Here you have good performers with Ann Southern, Melvyn Douglas and Felix Bressart in, essentially the third lead. But it seems to have escaped anyone that you know as soon as Douglas begins to speak, in the first scene of his having neglected his marriage, that this movie would be about the recourting of his wife. When was the last time a romantic comedy had anything new in the way of plot points? About twenty years before Plautus was born is my guess. What matters is the jokes and the performers, and the jokes here are few and feeble. Instead we are distracted by a plethora of side issues, including a rather poor attempt to create a Aaron Copland style of score.
Director Richard Thorpe is often criticized for his stolid handling of stolid stars in stolid subjects for MGM -- here was a man who, in his Poverty Row days could turn out something sprightly, silly and cheap like UNDER MONTANA SKIES and WINGS OF ADVENTURE. But his ability to shoot decent stuff less expensively than some of his more fabled fellow directors got him assignments like IVANHOE with Robert Taylor, and what was he supposed to do with something like that other than get an adequate performance out of Robert Taylor on schedule? He can't manage much here, either.
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