Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Mr. And Mrs. Smith (1941)

Hitchcock! Hitchcock! Hitchcock!

No, it's actually not the original of the Pitt / Jolie film, much to my surprise!

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Starring: Carole Lombard (To Be or Not to Be; My Man Godfrey), Robert Montgomery (They Were Expendable; Free And Easy)

Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock (Frenzy, The Birds)

Overview: When a young couple discover that they aren't actually married due to a technicality, Mr. Smith chases after his once-wife while she decides to start courting again.

Acting: I don't like Robert Montgomery. I don't hate him, he's good, but his pretty little smug-face was a pleasure to see fade to black. As for Carole Lombard, it's clear that she has a lot of spunk as a woman, because she doesn't look like she's acting as she prances around like some haughty bitch. Nothing I like to see more than humans completely disrespecting each other and thinking it's funny.
Rating: 6

Cinematography: Typical rote cinematography that made me focus even more attention on the plot. Ugh.
Rating: 6

Script: I will admit that there were a couple of scenes that were entire scenes comprised of hilarious set-ups ending in even funnier conclusions. By a couple, I mean two. Sadly that's not enough to keep me from wondering why I was wasting my time.
Rating: 7

Plot: When you begin a film with me hating the female character because she's such a nag that she makes up relationship rules like "we can't leave the bedroom until our fight is resolved", that's not a good start. When you end it quickly and clumsilly just to have an ending, that makes it even worse. I hated this clunky-ass story.
Rating: 5

Mood: I am going to do all I can to stay true to the genre. Romantic Comedy is all about the screwball, all about the suspension of disbelief. You have to let so much (SO MUCH!) slide to allow the premise to keep chugging along. If you like Romantic Comedies though, you'll STILL find this clumsy, because generations later what must have been funny isn't anymore. The words may be amusing, but the situational stuff, nope.
Rating: 7

I so wish they'd have been spies instead of just "not married"

Overall Rating: 64% (As Forgettable As The Joneses)

Aftertaste: Yes there is a HUGE difference between Comedy Romance and Romantic Comedy. One I can appreciate, the other sucks eggs. This was a frikken awkward accident that should have been directed by someone else. Hitchcock should have been given respect enough to do something important besides this fluffy drivel. Who am I to judge, I haven't even read Hitchcock Truffaut yet. Hell maybe he was dying to do garbage after his success with Rebecca.

Yeah right. Turns out the actress convinced him to direct it. My biggest problem with Hitchcock right now is that integrity didn't seem to fit into his career path. Had he put his foot down and focussed on making films worthy of his vision, I'd be a much bigger fan.