After having watched Three Smart Girls (1936) and First Love (1939), I was hoping this film would get the right mix of Deanna’s acting with singing that was integrated into the storyline. It has a fair amount of her comedic acting and the singing is integrated into the movie. The problem is that film is extremely formulaic. You only feel an attachment to Deanna because she is that charming as an actress. It didn’t hurt that I came into this film having seen two prior films.
It begins with a local paper hoping that Jonathan Reynolds (Charles Laughton) will die in time for the story to go out in the next edition. Then we go into the home and bedside of the dying Reynolds where he makes a final request of his son. He wants to see his son’s fiancee before he dies. Unfortunately, the son can’t get in touch with her. Since this is a movie, that means that any girl will do because Reynolds is going to die anyways. In this case, it means that a singing girl who works at a hotel will stand in for the fiancee.
It also means that the plan works. Reynolds meets Deanna and is happy to see his son with such a sweet and beautiful woman. Of course, it also means that he doesn’t die immediately and starts to get well. Yep, this is a mistaken identity romantic comedy. It follows the predictable path of the father attaching himself to Deanna and eventually convincing the son that he has picked a winner. The funniest bit of the movie is the train porter.
Deanna tries to leave town several times only to be stopped by Reynold’s son just as the train begins to move. Instead of the porter being a yessir and trying to be as helpful as possible, he greets them with a, “I can toss you your luggage but don’t expect me to step off the train once it’s moving,” look. It’s funny because he doesn’t take any crap and leaves Deanna and the son running to catch luggage as he chucks it at them.
Aside from that funny moment, it’s all paint by numbers filmmaking. Nothing particularly bad but not really worth your time. Approach it with caution.