Rough on Rents (1942)
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This one begins with Edgar losing a lot of money on a horse race. He gets the brilliant idea of taking in a border--but doesn't tell the wife! I guess he figures with her and her annoying in-laws going out of town they won't know...at least for a while! Soon, the new tenant has a wild party and Edgar sits in on it. However, Florence and the other two jerks are coming back early--and he expects the new border and his friends to leave--but the guy has paid his rent. And, the friends become not particularly friendly when he suggests they go. However, eventually they leave and it looks like Edgar's gotten away with it...or does he?!
I was genuinely surprised by this film. Not only was it a decent plot, but Florence Lake actually kept her mouth relatively shut! Maybe the director or RKO execs finally decided to tone down her routine...all I know is that she's not, for a change, a detriment to a film!! Worth seeing.
This definitely feels like an entry in a series, there's a slight by-numbers atmosphere to it, and we are thrust into events very quickly, already expected to be familiar with Edgar, his family, and his living situation. The events, catalyzed by Edgar's quickly letting his apartment after losing money in a race, are the main source of comedy here, but they happen so quickly and with so little set-up in many cases that they aren't really milked for their potential. Still, it's fairly fun viewing and there are some amusing moments. One gag -- "Do you want that button?" -- had been used a lot better in a Charley Chase short from five years earlier, "The Wrong Miss Wright." I could see the final gag coming a mile away.
This is comfortable, plain comedy. Nothing really wrong with it, but it doesn't live up to the potential latent in the presence of Edgar Kennedy and a scenario like it has.