10 September 2013 | marcslope
Berlin makes it
Silly backstage story with a beautiful but uninteresting leading lady in Madeleine Carroll, this 20th Century Fox musical is buoyed by a couple of happy factors: third-billed Alice Faye, in the last of her kewpie-doll roles (after this she was always a noble leading lady, and arguably less interesting), and an excellent Irving Berlin score. Berlin had his pulse on pop music of the times like nobody else, and he delivers sumptuous ballads, rhythm numbers, and social satire from a seemingly bottomless bag of inspiration. Dick Powell, stuck with playing the sort of insipid roles he hated at Warners, doesn't seem that happy, and Cora Witherspoon, as Carroll's dotty aunt, dithers in a part that almost certainly was designed for Alice Brady. But Faye's "This Year's Kisses" and "Slumming on Park Avenue" are fabulous, and the Ritz Brothers, while nobody's favorite comedy team, are well used. It's fast and unpretentious, and rest assured, another good Berlin tune is always coming up.