You Can't Beat Love (1937)

Passed   |    |  Comedy, Romance

You Can't Beat Love (1937) Poster

Never one to turn down a dare, Jimmy Hughes--a wealthy but eccentric lawyer--takes his faithful butler Jasper and gets a job digging ditches to fulfill a bet he made with two reporters. In ... See full summary »


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25 October 2007 | MartinHafer
| A decent and occasionally fun time-passer
The film begins with a knuckle-head playboy (Preston Foster) working on a road crew dressed in a tux in order to win a bet. Apparently, this guy will take on any bet or act on a whim. This becomes very apparent when he disrupts a food giveaway hosted by the mayor's daughter and as a result of this, he announces he's running for mayor--though he seems very much apolitical and has no interest in the job. Later, when he once again meets up with the mayor's daughter (Joan Fontaine) they supposedly fall in love--although there seemed to be little chemistry between them and it made very little sense for Fontaine to suddenly love a guy she so quickly hated at the beginning of the film. Plus, she really had plenty of reason to dislike the guy.

Regardless of the reasoning for announcing he was running for mayor, eventually Foster takes the role seriously and jumps in to the fray--only to see first-hand just how corrupt the police chief is. Foster's job from then on is to expose this crook, though new girlfriend Fontaine doesn't understand and takes it all very personally.

Aside from the appearance by Joan Fontaine in one of her earliest films, there's not a lot to distinguish this film--though it is occasionally fun and is a decent time-passer. You could do worse, but you could also do a lot better.

FYI--Early in her career, Joan's accent changed A LOT--seeming to indicate she was working with coaches to create an accent acceptable to movie-goers (eventually resulting in a refined British accent as in films such as REBECCA and her later Americanized accent in films of the late 40s and 50s). Through the mid-to late 30s, this was still quite in flux. It is interesting here that her voice and style of speaking is almost identical to her sister's (Olivia De Havilland), though this style was only a transition and was mostly gone by 1940. An odd observation, I know, but something that's obvious if you watch several of her early films at once (like I have over the last few days).

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