30 April 2006 | SaraX626
Should be a wonderful comedy but some scenes will jar a modern audience
Most modern viewers of 1930's comedies will be accustomed to the necessity of suspending disbelief and modern sensibilities to entirely enjoy these films. However, She Married Her Boss contains one or two scenes which make this a difficult task. The main problematic scene is the drunk driving scene which is sufficiently reckless as to be just plain alarming to modern audiences but fortunately occurs at the end of the movie so as not to be troubling throughout. The second such scene however is the (aural) scene of Julia (Claudette Colbert) spanking Anabelle several times with a hairbrush. In modern times, with the idea of physically punishing children being so controversial, this scene refuses to simply fade into the background of the film and become simply a comedic scene and lingers in a slight feeling of unease in watching the remainder of the film despite Annabelle's growing affection for Julia. Simliarly Julia's friends taunts of Annabelle appear somewhat cruel; being adults ganging up on an unhappy child, no matter how obnoxious her behaviour.
Although some of the comedic aspects of the film may not translate to a modern audience, the film nevertheless contains some gems of serious scenes - Claudette Colbert's reaction to her husband mocking her for behaving like a woman and his criticism that she is making their marriage "just like any other marriage". Similarly the shop dummy scene can be enjoyed on a number of levels, the drunken comedy is delightful but also wonderful is Colbert's pained expression and declaration that "Julia doesn't live here anymore". Finally my favourite scene of the film, when Melvyn Douglass confronts Colbert after her antics in the shop window appear in the press, effectively calling her "second hand goods". Colberts reactions from resignation, to pride to hurt to confrontation are a pure acting lesson.
While some of the comedy may struggle to appeal to modern audiences, the scene of the new bride (Colbert) being carried over the thresh-hold by her new husband's butler remains one of the funniest moments in 1930's comedy and Julia's kicking of the child shop dummy (surely a reaction to her troubled step-daughter) remains a guilty pleasure so that despite some reservations the film continues to work on both the dramatic and comedic levels despite some need to be prepared more than usual to put modern considerations aside to entirely enjoy this.