9 November 2004 | mush-2
defanged version of Sinclair Lewis classic Main Street
This is a watered down version of Sinclair Lewis's 1920's angry screed "Main Street" with an especially inane title- I Married a Doctor.The town is the villain in the novel. However, in the movie,Lewis's point is blunted, almost as if not to offend the moviegoers who might be denizens of small towns like the one described. Even the name of the town has been prettified. In the book the town is called Gophers Prairie- here it is called benignly-Williamsburgh.
The most important character change is the small town doctor. Dr. Will Kennicot, in the book, is a stolid, dense man who never seems to understand his wife Carol who is sinking under the weight of the hypocrisy and vapidity of small town life. In the movie, Pat O Brian plays the Doctor, very well , I might add, and he is a sensible hero who says- the town isn't the problem-it's human nature that's the problem.Lewis doesn't much agree. Carol is a bit of an idiot in the book, but Lewis's sympathies are clearly with her.
Casey Robinson is the credited screenwriter and as usual he does a good job with his dialogue, much of which sounds natural and human. The movie is fairly well directed and the story, what little there is moves along. However, Lewis dark vision of American life would not be accurately portrayed on the screen until 1960's Elmer Gantry.