Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Modern Love (1929) Film Review - Cinecon 44 Screening

Plot Summary - Silent/part talkie romantic comedy starring Charley Chase as a man who wants to marry his girl Patricia (Kathryn Crawford), but she doesn't want to give up her career as a fashion designer (and he's the sort of guy who simply won't tolerate his wife working - "any career in my home will be held by me" says he). A weird plan - they make a deal to get married in secret and keep separate apartments so she can continue working (yeah, in those wacky and wild days when a gal had to quit her job immediately upon marriage). Okay - so he "sleeps over", then sneaks out before daybreak so none of the neighbors think that this "unmarried" woman slept with her man (I wonder, what they would have done if a "precious little bundle" was soon going to be part of the mix?). Well, Patricia impresses a famous Paris fashion designer (Jean Hersholt) with her evening gown designs, and he asks her to come and work with him in Paris for six months. He's also somewhat of a wolf, with other kinds of designs on her - thank goodness she's single (he thinks!). She throws a dinner party for this guy and some of his friends (including Anita Garvin) - and, um, makes her hubby pose as the butler, Higginbottom (?), and serve them dinner. Yikes, hubby creates an odd dining situation for them all, by giving signals to the Parisian mimicking fake table etiquette and demonstrating weird ways to eat his food - the poor man follows suit, and so does everyone else so as not to offend their guest-of-honor. When the "overall" company hubby works for is going bankrupt, he's let go - luckily his wife happens to have laying about the house some cool new designs for overalls for women, such as the "Garden Gad-Abouts".

Review - I quite liked this film, I found it to be an amusing, fun watch - and I am a fan of Charley Chase, so enjoyed seeing him in this. Okay, yeah it's a bit weird that this couple has to resort to all these shenanigans just so this gal can continue the job she loves - but hey, it's a sign of the times back then, and does make for a cute plot. When it came to the part with the live dialogue instead of title cards, I was so into the story I didn't even notice for awhile - so I'm not actually completely sure when the talkie part of this started! The silent part of the film has a synchronized soundtrack of catchy vintage tunes - nice. Pretty good. Rating - 8/10 stars

1 comment:

Don said...

Sounds great, thanks for the info. I wonder if there's any chance that this will be released to DVD or show up on TCM. Sure would love to see it.