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Lydia De Roberti,
An elegant dandy - he of suit, vest, tie, and top hat - ignores his wife at dinner in favor of his newspaper, so she tearfully leaves him and returns home to mother. He is ecstatic, dancing a jig at the prospect of new-found freedom, but after a series of disasters as he washes up the dishes, shops and cooks, makes his bed and tries to get a night's sleep, then looks unsuccessfully for his tie in the morning, he's at his wit's end and the place is in shambles. Will his better half return? Written by
Compared to other comedies of the day, this one excels
Whether the ACTUAL date of this film's release was 1912 or 1908 or whatever, this silent short is pretty amazing for the time. That's because most short comedies made at the time were almost plot less and pointless. While die-hard fans of Chaplin might disagree, his early shorts are often unwatchably bad when seen today because they had no script--he was just told to ad-lib and be funny! And, occasionally he was, though more often the films seemed flat and showed none of his later genius. However, before Chaplin and even before Fatty Arbuckle, Max Linder was making shorts that were more similar to the later shorts of Arbuckle and Chaplin (circa 1916 or later) in that they had more well-defined plot and consisted of more than just people hitting and throwing stuff at each other.
This film is such an example of a REAL plot and not just pointless slapstick. Max and his wife have a fight and she runs off to her mother's house--leaving Max to fend for himself. And, when it comes to cooking, making the bed and finding his clothing, he is a total wreck--as you see during most of the film. The pacing is slower and gentler with less low-brow laughs--but a more sophisticated charactization that really impressed me for the era.
While compared to later films by Lloyd and Keaton and Chaplin this isn't that great a short, for its time it was terrific AND his success and style led to these other comedians. So give 'em a 9 for originality, pacing and a real plot!
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