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   HAVING WONDERFUL TIME (1938) 

CAST
Ginger Rogers
Douglas Fairbanks Jr.
Peggy Conklin
Lucille Ball
Lee Bowman
Eve Arden
Dorothea Kent
Red Skelton
Donald Meek
Jack Carson

DIRECTED BY
Alfred Santell

PURCHASE


DVD




Time: 70 mins.
Rating: Not Rated
Genre: Comedy/Romance


SYNOPSIS: An overworked and lonely office girl takes a two week vacation to Camp Carefree where she finds more than food in the arms of a poor, but handsome waiter.

BOTTOM LINE: While there's nothing overly wrong with this movie, the title sort of gives you expectations the film doesn't exactly deliver. Sure, it's lively, fun and romantic, but there's just not enough plot to sustain one's interest – even at a runtime of seventy minutes. While Ginger is certainly the prettiest girl in the room and can banter with the best of them, I missed the singing and dancing that should have been sprinkled throughout this picture, filling in the plot holes. I could sympathize with her character's desperate plight to get out of the big city for some fresh air and open space. I certainly felt her pain when she arrived at what she thought was going to be a resort and finds a shabby lakeside camp with lousy accomadations. Of course, if my porter/driver/waiter looked like Douglas Fairbanks Jr. I wouldn't feel completely cheated. They, of course, get off on the wrong foot, but they aren't kept apart for very long, which is one the film's biggest problems. Sure, she's given no real reason to hate him – and only has a two weeks to share – yet their connection felt a bit forced to me. They look great together and have nice chemistry – he must have been a nice change from Fred – I just wanted more back and forth before the big clinch.

With such a talented supporting cast that includes Lucille Ball, Eve Arden and Red Skelton there should have been more worthwhile subplots for them to work with. Arden plays a snooty New Yorker who merely throws off a line here and there; Skelton, as the camp entertainment director, is given a few moments to show off his physical comedy prowess, but not much character; and Lucy plays a persistant, overbearing girl that fails to get her man, however, her talents are pretty much wasted here. What the final third of the film ends up relying on for laughs is Rogers spending her last night in the cabin of the camp's casanova (Bowman), ruining her reputation, instead of with the man she loves, because she was offended he asked her to do the same thing. Of course, nothing happens – in a sequence that's initially funny but falls flat quickly – though neither of their paramours, Fairbanks and Ball, know that. There was a chance for real comedy antics here, but I guess they didn't think Fairbanks was up for the task. Though I haven't seen many of his performances, I really thought he did a good job here as the smart, reluctant lover looking to make his own way in the world. Ginger could have done her part in her sleep, but she's clever and pleasant enough to keep you entertained. She is a star, after all. A talented cast wasted on mindless romance.




"For a couple of weeks I'm going to breathe air before everyone else is through with it."

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