Had no doubt that 'Laughter in Paradise' was going to be a great film. It absolutely was, to me one of the funniest and most likeable recent film viewings and a real pleasure to watch. Saw a lot of films from all genres and decades and while a lot were decent and more, there were others that were barely average and less. Having seen a lot of wastes of potential recently, where films mess up a good concept and do the talent involved no justice, part of me was starting to feel nervous when seeing a film that intrigued me. 'Laughter in Paradise' though was something of a refreshment.
Will admit to guessing the outcome early on, but the film still executed the ending very well and it at least gelled with the zany premise.
'Laughter in Paradise' looks good though, the black and white photography being very pleasing on the eye and transitions from scene to scene are smooth enough. The music score matches the zany tone of the story and is suitably whimsical. The direction handles the different story strands seamlessly, managing to keep the pace energetic but never rushed throughout and making the storylines equally interesting.
The script is very funny, with Sim agreed having the best lines, yet also manages some surprising pathos in Agnes' storyline. With Agnes progressing the most in a character change that is touching and sympathetically handled. Perhaps Simon's storyline comes off least, but only because there were funnier (and more of them) moments elsewhere and Agnes' especially had more heart. It is entertaining still though and suave Simon just about avoids being annoying. Although it was entertaining seeing George Cole going through lengths to rob a bank, it's Sim's scenes that brings out the most joy. Have never known any film character to go to prison willfully, while there have been few funnier shoplifting attempts scenes than in 'Laughter in Paradise', loved everything with the brick (and the dog in the car) too.
Sim of course is fantastic, one doesn't expect any less though, and is the one that holds 'Laughter in Paradise' together. Fay Compton mixes unsympathetic and sympathetic quite touchingly, while George Cole's earnestness is appealing and Guy Middleton does suave very well. Joyce Grenfell, really liked her chemistry with Sim and her body language, and John Laurie, in full cantankerous mode, are hoots in their supporting roles.
In conclusion, great fun. 9/10