Mr and Mrs Smith
R Jan 31 1941 - 95mins
Robert Montgomery, Carole Lombard
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
David and Ann Smith are New York socialites who have been semi happily married for three years although they are prone to bickering. Over breakfast one morning David admits to Ann that given a second chance he probably wouldn't get married again. Well, this is a holdout 30s screwball comedy so no sooner can you ask yourself why a mope like Montgomery wouldn't embrace Lombard like grim death the little guy who's in every other movie of the 40s stops by to inform the couple (separately) that through a mixup in interstate laws it turns out they are not married.
David decides to do the romantic thing and take Ann back to the restaurant he first proposed to her in down in Little Italy-- only now the place is run by that little Italian guy who runs every ethnic bar or restaurant in the 1940s and it's not the same. Taking Ann home it appears David plans on some hanky panky even though legally they are no longer married-- Ann is convinced he's going to spring the news on her and make a right woman out of her but the joke goes on too long and pretty soon she's throwing him out of the apartment and it turns out everyone from her mother to their maid thinks this is the right thing to do.
And therein lies the problem with the premise of the movie, I'm in agreement with Mom and the housekeeper-- Montgomery is kind of a washout and I'm not sure she wouldn't be better off with someone else.
Hitchcock directed this as a favor to Lombard but it feels like he either phoned this one in or he was just in over his head because this never approaches the level of something like HIS GIRL FRIDAY even though it borrows a lot of things from that one. In HGF Cary Grant was a louse and a weasel, but he was still Cary Grant when you wiped the mud off. In this case you end up with Robert Montgomery and well, he's no Cary Grant.
I found this one to have a couple of laughs but overall it's kind of a hot mess that meanders it's way to a finish that doesn't make much sense either.
Mr and Mrs Smith