Monday, February 1, 2010

WHY is Love Before Breakfast?

Our Carole Lombard focus this time is 1936's Love Before Breakfast.  In the spirit of honesty, let's just start by getting it out in the open - we just DIDN'T like this movie!  Try as they might, this trio of excellent actors (Carole Lombard, Preston Foster, Cesar Romero), could not make this mess of a script into a cohesive whole. First off, the title - just WHERE did they pick this title from? It made no sense, bore no relation to the movie at all. Next, there is the relationship between Kay Colby (Carole Lombard) and Scott Miller (Preston Foster). All they do is fight. And fight to the point where it is ridiculous.  I won't go into the ending here, but just watch it. It makes no sense, and is just plain stupid. Compare it to a similar ending in My Man Godfrey, where the ending is handled brilliantly.  Though it has been a long time since I've seen it (and one of my viewing companions has not see it at all), we wondered if the screenwriters were trying to recapture the screwball silliness of Twentiety Century.  Regardless, it doesn't succeed.

Another problem with the film is that it brings in elements, and then doesn't use them.  For example, very early in the film, Scott discovers that Bill Wadsworth (Cesar Romero - here, for a change, not playing a Latin lover or Indian houseman) is seeing another woman, though he is engaged to Kay.  So, to get rid of Bill, Scott ships Bill abroad (Bill works for him), and tells Kay that he did it purposely, but NEVER tells her that Bill is not faithful to her. WHY? Scott blabs everything else. Why not that? And if he is not going to use the information, why do we need to know it? It's dropped out there like some kind of time bomb, then turns out to be a dud that never goes off.



And then there is Kay. Stubborn beyond belief! Trapped in a small boat that is about to be swamped by a storm, she refuses to come aboard Scott's large, warm, DRY yacht. Bill (who has returned from his work abroad) is so drunk he can't stand up. The pair can't hide below decks because it is already full of water. So, all they can do is sit on the main deck, getting drenched and wait to be swept overboard. Could anyone be that antagonistic towards someone that they would die for it?  

We'll leave you with a clip from the film, featuring the results of one of their battles:

 

So, not exactly one we can recommend.  I'm sure we will findThe Princess Comes Across much more enjoyable!