20 May 2008 | boblipton
What Went Wrong?
I have the feeling this movie should be funnier than I find it. All the performers are good -- even if Gene Raymond was always a little too stiff to be interesting, that has lots of possibilities in a screwball comedy. Joe August's cinematography is, as always, great without being intrusive. The stooge reporters, including eternal lunk Gordon Jones, are fine. But this story of how Anne Southern pursues once-and-future fiancé Gene Raymond, after her editor, Richard Lane, has a fake murder staged to break up the marriage, never quite gels for me. Maybe it's the way everyone rushes through their lines.Maybe it's the long excursions in a serious plot about murder that no one is expected to care about. Maybe it's the fact that everything is a little too polished and beautiful, including Anne Southern in an expensive fur coat -- I don't care if she is on an expense account, she's a reporter. Mostly I attribute it to the fact there is only one genuinely funny scene, when Anne Southern is beating up the gorillas her editor sent to fetch her back.
The whole thing is directed by RKO stalwart Ben Holmes, a jack-of-all-tradesman for anything not involving a horse. Mr. Holmes worked so fast that he is credited with directing four movies that came out in 1944, even though he died in 1943!