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Florence and Chet Keefer have had a troublesome marriage. Whilst in the middle of a divorce hearing the judge encourages them to remember the good times they have had hoping that the marriage can be saved. Written by
Col Needham <email@example.com>
At the film comes to the classical "The End" over the final shot of the two main characters in background, instead of the usual fade-out, Columbia Pictures added the advertisement: "You have just seen our New Personality - ALDO RAY - Please watch for his next picture." In the background, a short sequence of Aldo Ray speaking (no dialogue heard - simply the remaining ending score) in a bedroom setting seen in the movie. See more »
George Cukor has made a film about inconsistent narrators. As Florence "Florrie" (Judy Holliday) and Chester "Chet" (Aldo Ray) are about to get a divorce, both bicker and biasedly argue over details of their time together, their memories of love and bittersweet loss. However, the audience is lucky to have George Cukor as a reliable tour guide into the 7-year marriage of Chet and Florrie, for along with A STAR IS BORN, this is his most emotionally raw and truthful film. Some have complained that Aldo Ray seemed better fit for a war movie, and both actors had very unique speaking voices that typecast them, but I like the fact that Holliday and Ray are both a bit off; Unlike the very similar-plotted PENNY SERENADE, neither really had the aura of a huge superstar like Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant, and they feel like real people, which is essential to the roles and neither felt like they were two actors playing dress-up (or down), and their flaws and insecurities are so human and real. Their fights don't feel scripted, but rather the audience is interrupting their neighbor's loud argument. The tragedies are not manipulative or forced unlike PENNY SERENADE but instead infused with honesty and a painful eye for details of the way a married couple acts and reacts like Stanley Donen's TWO FOR THE ROAD. Cukor's two screenwriters, Garson Kanin and Ruth Gordon brilliantly use flashbacks and voice-overs to show how memories can be biased and that people can be cruel to try to avoid getting hurt, but that the truth (the flashbacks that we do see) is more bittersweet in its objectivity. Florrie and Chet may argue constantly and bicker to cover up their own vulnerability, but that's what makes them so perfect for each other, and why Florrie believes so much in Chet's ambitions and how Chet knows that Florrie brings out the best in him. The best movie couples are the ones whose respective films acknowledge the frailties of human beings--and also realize the potential to grow and evolve with love and redemption, which is what THE MARRYING KIND does with a refreshing sense of candid accuracy; this is a marriage straight from real life, not the Hollywood version of it.
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