15 January 2017 | weezeralfalfa
Fun screenplay, Abundant music so-so, despite Benny Goodman.
A Warner musicomedy directed by Busby Berkeley. Unlike the usual Warner film choreographed by Busby, there's no stage dancing or military maneuvers. Instead, it's lots of singing, the majority concentrated at the end, as is typical of Busby's choreography when there is considerable stage dancing and military maneuvering. Unfortunately, only a little of the terminal music was of interest to me. Most of the best musical numbers occurred before this: "Hooray for Hollywood" at the beginning and again at the end, "Silhouette in the Moonlight", also sung twice and, my favorite: "I'm Like a Fish Out of Water". We have a variety of featured singers, such as Dick Powell, Rosemary Lane, Johnnie Davis, Francis Langford, and Terry Cooper. New songs were composed by the team of Richard Whiting and Johnny Mercer. Music by Benny Goodman or Raymond Paige Orchestras or the multiracial Benny Goodman quartet(Benny, Teddy Wilson, Gene Kruppa, and Lionel Hampton).
The screen play is decent, with a variety of character actors, as well as Dick Powell , contributing to the humor. The plot is mainly concerned with the impersonation of spoiled Hollywood diva Mona(Lola Lane) by a look-alike waitress in the hotel: Virginia(Rosemary Lane). Seems Mona had a temper tantrum about a casting decision, and refused to go to the premier showing of her latest picture. To avoid embarrassment, her producer ordered that a look-alike be found to take her place, squired by new recruit Ronnie(Dick Powell). This proved fortuitous, as Virginia and Ronnie, both singers, soon fell in love. There is no love-hate oscillations in this relationship, as in many musicals. However, Ronnie is confused for a while when he greets Virginia, a waitress, presumably as as Mona, then the real Mona, leading a retinue of dogs and dog walkers, shows up in the hotel. Ronnie gets slapped twice for acting fresh with the real Mona, before he finally learns the truth, and decides he likes Virginia, the waitress, much better. Ronnie is soon involved with another impersonation, when he is asked to dub the singing of Mona's costar for her new movie. This he does, but when the studio wants him to dub the costar's voice at a radio show, he balks. His friends arrange to take the costar elsewhere during the broadcast, so that Ronnie can show his face as the real singer.
Hugh Herbert who played Mona's goofy father, and Mabel Todd, as Mona's goofy sister, tried to be funny in their usual ways, but usually fell flat for me.
Currently available as part of the Busby Berkeley DVD Collection