"Me and My Gal" is an ingratiating pre-Code comedy-drama enhanced by spirited banter between Spencer Tracy and Joan Bennett who play two young people feeling each other out as potential mates. Bennett is surprisingly good as a wise-cracking, down-to-earth waitress who speaks her mind and can easily hold her own against Tracy's New York City cop. The pre-Code era's lack of pretense about sexuality makes their impassioned kiss in the diner -- as the two knock over items on the lunch counter -- all the more humorous. Bennett, both impressed and amused by Tracy's kiss, responds: "If you're gonna kiss me like that, you're gonna have to marry me." It's a magical little moment that caused the passage of time since 1932 to drop away and left me there with them to enjoy the fun.
A sub-plot involves Bennett's newly married sister, a good girl who nevertheless can't resist her bad boy gangster ex-boyfriend. When he needs to hide from the police, she installs him in a spare bedroom, under the nose of her disabled father-in-law who is confined to a wheelchair, can't speak a word and communicates only by blinking his eyes in Morse code. Later, when everything gets resolved, Tracy tells the father-in-law that the daughter-in-law is a good kid at heart in spite of what she did, expressing pre-Code generosity for forgiveness and tolerance, even in sexual transgressions with gangsters.
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