6 February 2015 | hotangen
They don't make 'em like this anymore. But the weeper genre was popular with the ladies once upon a time, and Bennett led the pack of martyrs. Her suffering in Born to Love is all the sadder because it could have been so easily avoided if she had just answered her husband's questions frankly and fully. But not Bennett. Her evasiveness followed by her unforgivably cruel words turned this kindly man's love for her into hate. But still, she didn't deserve what she got.
Variety's reviewer wrote of the plot, "Constance Bennett is ruined again and has another baby" and "How the women love it, that sobbing stuff." Bennett's hand-wringing and heavy emoting was criticized, but I thought her acting was exactly how her character would respond to the shocks the script writers threw at her. Regardless, Variety saw the film's box-office potential, "Bennett isn't much of an actress here but still drawing as ever because of this story." Only a year after this huge hit, the drawing power of Bennett and stories like Born to Love would lose favor with fickle moviegoers, and she and her producers were unable to keep her career from sliding downhill until Topper reinvented her as a sophisticated comedienne.
This was Joel McCrea's first (of 4) teamings with Bennett as well as his first major role. He's wonderful to watch and Bennett's undying love for him is believable. Cavanaugh is excellent and manages to be sympathetic even while being cold-hearted and vengeful.