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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Doctor Takes A Wife (1940)

Routine "screwball" comedy that's more tedious than funny. A feminist author (Loretta Young) and a chauvinist doctor (Ray Milland), who are antagonistic to each other, through several misunderstandings are thought to be married. The couple decide to keep up the pretense because it advantages both of them, he gets a sought after teaching post over an unmarried man and she writes a best selling book on marriage. The humor, such as it is, comes from them living under the same roof (not in the same bedroom, of course), bickering while presenting a happily married front to everyone. There is one genuinely amusing sequence when Milland invites his girlfriend (Gail Patrick) to his bachelor apartment while hosting a cocktail party with his wife simultaneously as he climbs out the kitchen window between both apartments trying to keep both Ms. Patrick and the party guests happy. There's never any doubt about the inevitable Hollywood happy ending of course but at least the film doesn't humiliate Ms. Young's feminism as several like minded films starring Kate Hepburn and Roz Russell did. With Edmund Gwenn and Reginald Gardiner.

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