18 December 2006 | boblipton
The uselessness of the rich wastrel
It's not a film version of Phillip Barry's play, HOLIDAY. That's obvious from the beginning and it suffers from a lack of sympathy for the subject of its opprobrium. The drunk looks a little like Lew Ayres, but he drinks not because he is a poet, and not because he is not a poet. He drinks because he can barely conceive of anything else.
But that's the basic idea, really. A producer said "Give me something like HOLIDAY" and this is what they came up with. Frances Dee does as much as she can, but she can't carry this movie by herself, and neither the script nor the actors seem capable of much more -- no, that's not true. Nigel Bruce, as a Scotch butler, is wonderful, and totally unlike any of his other roles. Alison Skipworth is, as usual, hilarious as Mrs. Vanderdoe, the society arbiter and adviser -- for a commission. And Harry Green, an actor I have seen in only one other movie, is excellent. But this movie, although it's clear that in another year, the genre would morph into the screwball comedy with its class warfare of the sexes, is a dull, disapproving drama.