Joy of Living (1938)

Approved   |    |  Comedy, Musical, Romance


Joy of Living (1938) Poster

Broadway star Margaret Garrett has spent her whole life working to support her sponging relatives. When she meets carefree Dan Webster, she learns how to have fun for the first time.


6.4/10
655

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  • Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Irene Dunne in Joy of Living (1938)
  • Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Irene Dunne in Joy of Living (1938)
  • Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Jean Dixon in Joy of Living (1938)
  • Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Irene Dunne in Joy of Living (1938)
  • Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Irene Dunne in Joy of Living (1938)

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23 October 2008 | jzappa
7
| An Ecstatic Little Musical Comedy Pageant With Unabashedly Lighthearted Silliness
This ecstatic little musical comedy pageant must sport the highest level of springy, rambunctious, impromptu optimism of any film, right down to the lighthearded silliness of the whole movie which, at the same time one can feel underwhelmed by it, the filmmakers are holding true to the spirit of its characters, allowing no room for ardor of any kind.

Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.'s supposedly self-styled sprawlingly open and adaptable stream-of- consciousness maverick is not a very good person. In spite of guiding the always outstanding maven of feminine supremacy Irene Dunne to break free of her oppressive, controlling family, he is oppressive and controlling, too. He is essentially a stalker whose influence on his object of fondness (no description of anything regarding this film could get more passionate than that) causes her to reciprocate. This, however, is no matter, because by means of the movie's completely detached, carefree spirit, it doesn't matter what he's like.

Joy of Living's philosophy seems to border on reckless, Fairbanks and gradually Dunne feeling overly optimistic and expansive, disregarding the resulting difficulty with commitment and trustworthiness as the itch for fun and free-flowing unpredictability of events call the shots. But it's a perfectly cast film with hilarious scenes featuring a fat German man dancing.

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