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   COME LIVE WITH ME (1941) 

CAST
James Stewart
Hedy Lamarr
Ian Hunter
Verree Teasdale
Donald Meek
Barton MacLane
Edward Ashley
Ann Codee
King Baggot

DIRECTED BY
Clarence Brown

PURCHASE


DVD Set




Time: 86 mins.
Rating: Not Rated
Genre: Comedy/Romance


SYNOPSIS: Illegal immigrant and showgirl Johnny Jones is due to be deported from the USA. Her only hope is to get married, but her rich publisher boyfriend already has a wife. She meets down-on-his-luck author, Bill Smith, and proposes a marriage of convenience in order to remain in the country, but Bill has more ambitious and amorous ideas.

BOTTOM LINE: A fairly interesting idea is spoiled by uninspired acting and plodding direction. The casting of Lamarr as the woman torn between two men who both wish to marry her gives her a chance to prove she's more than just a pretty face. She almost succeeds, but she fails to have much chemistry with either Stewart or Hunter, mostly playing a beautiful treasure they both must possess.

The script tries to be modern and witty, yet it fails to persuade and then succumbs to the most trite notions at the end that are very hard to swallow. Stewart gives his struggling writer real spunk and individuality, making him the most interesting character in the film. It goes without saying that any man would accept a proposal from someone as beautiful as Lamarr, what isn't convincing is why he'd want to stay with her once she requests a divorce. Except for her physical attributes her character has little to offer.

The various showdowns between Stewart and Hunter are mildly amusing, mostly because Stewart has no idea that Hunter is his competition and Hunter is only too aware who Stewart really is and how he can ruin his pleasant little set-up. He comes off better than he should for a cheater. It all comes to a head when Stewart "kidnaps" Lamarr and takes her to his childhood home and introduces her to his wonderfully crusty grandmother.

Apparently farmland and family are aphrodisiacs to city showgirls, who apparently only need a good, home-cooked meal to fall in love. It can be the only explanation for the 24-hour turnaround of her affections. A little more resistance would have gone a long way. As is, this is a pleasing rom-com that just never quite clicks together, but is still enjoyable especially for fans of the leads.




"If he wants to give her a real surprise he'd stay away one night."

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