31 January 2014 | csteidler
Lively comedy pokes gentle fun at slightly wacky family
Claudette Colbert leads a strong cast in this tale of a once-wealthy family adjusting to life after the family fortune has evaporated.
Mary Boland is excellent as the widowed mother—not really equipped to manage finances, she put all of their money into a failed mine called the Three Cornered Moon and doesn't quite know how to tell the kids they are broke. Colbert is her daughter, engaged to a rather useless aspiring novelist but not afraid to go out and find a job herself.
There are also three grown sons, most notably Wallace Ford in an admirable performance as an earnest go-getter with girl trouble who spouts great lines like, "From now on, I'm gonna be absolutely independent of everybody. That reminds me, I gotta ask Mother for some money."
Richard Arlen has a key role as a doctor friend of Colbert. Hearing of the family's troubles, he moves right into their house to help them out by contributing some rent
and also, it seems, to be around Claudette more.
It's a mildly silly comedy, for the most part, but has a couple of serious moments, especially the scene where Colbert finally sees through her deadbeat writer boyfriend (Hardie Albright): "You've failed me!" she gasps, devastated, when he returns home late one afternoon having skipped a job interview and bought her flowers instead.
Charming rather than side-splitting, it's a very entertaining family comedy, thanks to excellent characterizations from all.