Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The More the Merrier

There's something about comedies from the 1940s that makes them more lasting. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the jokes are actually funny unlike what we get nowadays. (Granted, some jokes are dated.)

George Stevens' The More the Merrier is one such film from that era that could fit the bill quite neatly. It has a nice balance of well-timed slapstick and jokes, but there are a couple of jokes that wouldn't exactly slide nowadays. Still, Stevens knows what he's doing for the most part.

And as with most comedies, it all relies on the right actors to get the job done. For The More the Merrier, Stevens enlists the likes of Jean Arthur, Joel McCrea (a vastly underrated leading man) and Charles Coburn (who got a well-earned Oscar for this). As I said, all it takes for a comedy to work is the right actors, and Arthur, McCrea and Coburn are just that.

I suppose what makes The More the Merrier stand out a bit is that Arthur's character is a working. Bear in mind, this was released in an era where women were either waiting for their men to come home or working in the factories. It wasn't that common to see a woman working a desk job (outside as a secretary, I suppose).

The More the Merrier is certainly amusing though it does get silly after a while. It mainly works because of the trio that is Arthur, McCrea and Coburn, but I'm mostly amused that this was made by the same man who would make A Place in the Sun. (Just saying.)

My Rating: ****

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