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It's turn of the century America when Andrew and Veronica first meet - by crashing into each other. They develop an instant and mutual dislike which intensifies when, later on, Andrew is forced to hire Veronica as a saleslady at Oberkugen's music store. What the two don't know is that while they may argue and fight constantly throughout the day, they are actually engaged in an innocent, romantic and completely anonymous relationship by night, through the post office. Written by
Funny that a movie which has 'Summertime" in its title spends most of its duration in the Winter. No matter, this is a charming and quaint musical from MGM. Judy and Van are anonymous pen pals, who also happen to work together, each of them not knowing the other is their mystery 'friend'.
It's a little disconcerting watching Judy Garland, as lively as ever, in her second to last MGM musical from the studio's classic period. It's unfortunate she was dropped a couple years later, because even in this minor film, she is wonderful, using her talents to better the story with her cinematic personality and melodic singing. She had a gift for comedy and a talent for drama as well.
Van Johnson, in one of his few memorable musical film roles, is good as Judy's counterpart. His role seems more like a character Gene Kelly would have played, a bit of a 'smart Alec'. I think if Kelly were cast instead, there would have been more of a balance in this film, because as it is, much of the singing in this film comes from Judy...she really is the only singer in the whole cast. The songs, themselves, are period pieces which are pleasant enough. Aside from the title tune, there is the "Dreamland" number, which is nice, Judy's rousing "I Don't Care", and her amusing song with the Barbershop Quartet. The other actors in the cast are also good. Buster Keaton has a funny, but modest role as a shop worker, along with Spring Byington and S.Z. "Cuddles" Sakall, as the shop owner.
Overall, a pleasant film. Not quite what I would think of as a musical, as the songs are modest filler, not showstoppers. This is not on par with "On the Town" or "The Pirate", but it is enjoyable enough. Good costumes, charming sets, and lovely Technicolor contribute to the look of an antique hand-colored postcard. In that sense, it's something of a curio; amusing, but not quite a gem.
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