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Monday, December 17, 2012

Easy To Wed (1946)

After an heiress (Esther Williams) threatens a tabloid newspaper with a libel suit, the paper's manager (Keenan Wynn) talks one of his employees (Van Johnson) into romancing her and then having his longtime girlfriend (Lucille Ball) pose as Johnson's wife and forcing Williams to drop the libel suit to avoid the bad publicity. But things don't go as planned when Johnson falls for the heiress for real. If the plot sounds familiar, it should. It's a remake of the 1936 screwball comedy LIBELED LADY but this time in Technicolor and padded with musical numbers. But while this revamp follows the original closely in plot, it shows how important casting is. The likable Williams and Johnson simply don't have the comic chops of William Powell and Myrna Loy who played the roles in the original. Ball (who displays the comedic talents that would come to fruition with I LOVE LUCY) and Wynn fare better in the Jean Harlow and Spencer Tracy parts but the bubbles are gone. Williams is used as an actress and singer here, she takes a quick dip in the pool but no underwater production numbers. Directed by Edward Buzzell (BEST FOOT FORWARD). With June Lockhart, Cecil Kellaway, Ben Blue and Ethel Smith and her organ.

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