|"Youíre awfully sweet and Iím awfully sorry for you. Thatís a dangerous combination for me."|
|Time: 97 mins.|
Rating: Not Rated
Harlow plays yet another showgirl in this sometimes funny, often sad love story. Only this time around Mona believes her impulsive romance with an attractive, yet idle and alcoholic playboy (Tone) will bring her the happiness and security she seeks. Ned (Powell), her friend and secret admirer, knows better and tries to break up the union before it becomes permanent. Unable to stop the lovers or declare his own true feelings, he misses his chance to be the one she holds in his arms. For his part, once Bob (Tone) sobers up, he realizes his mistake in actually making Mona his bride. Besides being already nominally betrothed to Jo (Russell), a girl from his own class, his father is aghast at the charming, but low rent girl he brings home. Dadís not the only one displeased with Bobís betrayal of Jo and things get sticky for the newlyweds in Bobís upper crust world.
It doesnít take long for the unhappy couple to realize what a reckless mistake they made. He blames her for his removal from his world, even though before he met her he wanted no part of it. She realizes she fooled herself into thinking she could not only change him, but be the catalyst for solving all his internal ills. Their relationship eventually explodes in a mass of jealousy and bitterness, leaving Mona pregnant, jobless, homeless and in trouble with the law. She manages to keep possession of her baby and her dignity, but not much else. Ned takes this opening to step up to the plate, finagling her a new theatrical career and maneuvering her right into his arms. Allís well that ends well for our happy couple. I guess that goes to show that marrying above your class leads to nothing but heartache and trouble. Or that one should look before they leap into marriage. Especially when youíve never been around your intended when theyíre sober.
Though Powell eventually gets the girl, itís hard to watch him as the odd man out. Heís far too entertaining to play second fiddle to such a stone-faced, pretty boy. This is the third or fourth film with Franchot Tone in it Iíve seen recently, and frankly, I donít get his appeal. His utter lack of charisma only works here because once heís sober he becomes somber, unhappy and petulant. One doesnít have to act much to portray those emotions. Heís clearly more classically handsome than Powell, but lacks his innate charm, class and sense of humor, which every girl knows lasts longer than good looks. While not my favorite Harlow picture, this film does give her the chance to show off her style, comic timing and dramatic skills. Her true moment to shine comes at the end of the film when sheís booed during her comeback performance. If the public doesnít accept her again, sheíll have no way to support her baby.
Fighting through tears of anger and humiliation, she musters the courage to give the crowd a piece of her mind about their unfair treatment. Her strength in the face of adversity shuts up the audience, allowing her to gracefully finish her song. Itís a great scene and one where every possible emotion plays beautifully across her face. Because Harlow and Powell are nothing more than friends throughout the film, his final romantic declaration is not as powerful as one would hope, but is still sweet and satisfying. They were engaged in real life and their connection and chemistry is evident onscreen, even though theyíre not playing lovers. A less melodramatic tone and stronger story would have served this film better, but overall itís definitely one worth watching for Harlow fans.