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Indecisive heiress Dee Dee Dillwood is pushed into marrying her sixth fiancée, but unable to face the wedding night, she flees into the adjacent hotel room of commercial pilot Marvin Payne, who just wants to sleep. Somehow, she persuades him to take her to California. Her fellow passengers include a chimpanzee, a corpse (in a coffin), an absconding embezzler, and two smoochy newlyweds. Can love be far behind? Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Joan Fontaine was pregnant during filming. The script, however, luckily indicated that her character wear a man's leather jacket which conveniently also covered her stomach. See more »
It's perfect natural for a girl to have doubts before getting married. In your case, certainly it isn't surprising; after all, you've been engaged six times.
Officially; if you want the unofficial total, you'll need an adding machine.
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Though "You Gotta Stay Happy" came after the heyday of screwball comedies, it follows the recipe well enough: take one zany heiress, mix up with earnest hero, add wise-cracking best friend, toss in some comic stereotypes for support, add a dash of innocent deception to get the plot rolling, then a pinch of mistaken identity (or something like it) to keep things stirred up, and top off with some chaste romance. Bake (or half-bake) for a little over an hour and a half, garnish with a cigar-smoking chimpanzee, and... voilà! Enjoyable light entertainment. You may be hungry an hour later, but it's fun while it lasts.
Jimmy Stewart's Marvin Payne is a variation on the actor's patented good-guy persona: a decent if sometimes cranky pilot, he's trying to keep his ramshackle airline *and* his carefully crafted life-plan running smoothly. Joan Fontaine, proving surprisingly proficient at comedy, plays indecisive rich girl Dee-Dee Dillwood, whose antics seem calculated to throw Marvin off schedule in both arenas. And Eddie Albert, as "Bullets" Baker, shines in an early and excellent incarnation of what would become his trademark 1950s character-- the lovable sidekick.
It's hard to outline the plot without giving it all away-- partly because all the pieces are intertwined, and partly because there aren't all that many pieces-- but I'll try. Fontaine's running from the altar, and Stewart, not fully aware of her circumstances, is somehow persuaded to let her aboard his cargo plane. Meanwhile, co-pilot Albert has enterprisingly sold seats to a few other unauthorized personnel. Will our intrepid fly-boys manage to steer their two-engine plane through stormy weather to complete all deliveries and stave off bankruptcy, or will they be too distracted by the fact that the police seem to be looking for one of their illicit passengers? And how about Stewart's heart, which seems to be flip-flopping for Fontaine a full six years ahead of schedule (he's penciled in "love" for 1954)? Will he be relieved or upset, if and when he learns her full story? It'd be too much to say that "the plane lifts off and hilarity ensues," but I was both amused by the proceedings and invested enough in the leads to care whether they got their happy ending. A warning: some of the aforementioned comic stereotypes-- naive Native Americans, women content to stay in their place-- haven't aged as well as others, so put on your 1940s hat before popping in the DVD.
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