Guinevere Pettigrew, a middle-aged London governess, finds herself unfairly dismissed from her job. An attempt to gain new employment catapults her into the glamorous world and dizzying social whirl of an American actress and singer, Delysia Lafosse.
War threatens London as Miss Pettigrew, a destitute governess, filches a client's card from her agency and presents herself at the door. A singer named Delysia Lafosse wants a social secretary as she seeks a West End role by sleeping with a feckless producer in the bed of Nick, a smarmy nightclub owner with whom she also dallies. She ignores Michael, her piano player, who loves her and has tickets for New York on the Queen Mary. Miss Pettigrew's job is to make sure Delysia gets the part. Over 24 hours, Miss Pettigrew is also called upon to help an ambitious and unfaithful fashion editor patch things up with her older fiancé, a lingerie designer. Has Miss Pettigrew found her calling?Written by
Johnny Mercer's Dream, a lovely song and fitting the mood of the scene, wasn't written until 1944. See more »
Is the offer still open?
[Michael stands and nick knocks him back down with a punch to the nose]
Well, is it a yes or is it a no?
Well will you doggone marry me or will you doggone not?
[he grins in delight, scrambles up, socks Nick square in the jaw, and pulls Delysia to her feet]
Yes. God help me, yes!
[they kiss fervently]
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The letters of the opening credits are blown into place, like the wind, swirling into their correct position. See more »
This type of movie has simply not been done for 40 or 50 years. Comedy based upon timing, script, and coincidence (the "screwball" part) is very rare.
Unlike today's comedy, based on the outrageous, the actors in this genre have to know how to deliver the lines, keep the pace. The resurrection of a genre.
One of the unusual parts of this film worth noting is the score. The music moves the action a great deal of the time. And the composer kept the sound from the era almost flawlessly: big band jazz of the late 1930's. (there are a couple of slips into later jazz styles, very minor - musicologists may be annoyed - but no one else will notice) The music becomes one of the characters of the plot, interacting almost as much as the actors do. That alone is a brilliant device, tried by many, mastered rarely, especially in period.
Amy Adams and Frances McDormand have a wonderful interplay, both sides of the romantic slide: young, desired, older, having past love by.
great movie if you like your comedy a little faster, but with no one who's eating anything disgusting for a laugh.
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