William A. Seiter
|Time: 106 mins.|
Rating: Not Rated
Academy Award nomination for Best Song.
|CAPSULE REVIEW ROBERTA is one of the first Astaire/Rogers pairings and though it isn't one of their best, it showcases the style and ingenuity they would bring to the Hollywood musical for years to come. The problem with the picture is they don't have enough screentime. What weighs this trifle down is the heavy-handed love story between Scott and Dunne, the bigger stars at the time. They play the requisite beautiful couple destined to be kept apart until the very last scene when all the hurt and anger disappear in a sweet kiss. Astaire & Rogers provide the comic relief/light entertainment in between all the sulking and arguing. The story centers around a haute couture Paris dress shop. Everything else is the same as every other A&R film. What matters are the dance numbers. The ones performed here aren't the most innovative or complicated they've ever performed, but they are funny, elegant and entertaining. Rogers may not be his most attractive partner, but nobody keeps up with Fred like she does. Dunne's talent is wasted here. Her role has her pouting most of the time and when she opens her mouth to sing, the film stops dead. She has a lovely voice, but the operatic style of the music is terribly old-fashioned and suffers in comparison to the light, jazzy numbers of A&R. A fun flick, but nothing more.|