I got chewed out for asking this over on the Classic Movie Board, but why oh why did Myrna take this dreck? Unlike her other MGM women peers, Myrna went straight from "Oriential" villaness to vamp to good-time girl to wife and mother. In the process, she rarely got the chance to do the witty, champagne romantic comedies given to Joan Crawford or Norma Shearer at MGM, or even Irene Dunne, Claudette Colbert and Jean Arthur at other studios. Her few stabs at it were, regrettably, very, very lackluster, as it seems the studio just didn't know what to do with Myrna if she wasn't portraying William Powell's sly wife or Clark Gable's ultra-feminine love interest (on that note, I recently watched Myrna in the pre-code "Penthouse" and she was an absolute DOLL. Her character was a call-girl, but Myrna was so witty and breezy and sexy; wish she could have kept some of that).
Man-Proof is one of those lackluster films given to Myrna when she wasn't paired with Clark or William or Robert Montgomery. Here she plays Mimi, who is in love with Alan (a stodgy Walter Pidgeon), and is the sparring partner of Jimmy (Franchot Tone). Alan breaks Mimi's heart by eloping with the wealthy Elizabeth (Rosalind Russell in her annoying "lady Mary" voice)--who in turn bizarrely invites Mimi to be her bridesmaid. Elizabeth wears this horrible wedding gown that looks like some sort of Medieval wimple and gown--and is completely serious! The film begins innocently enough, but it peaks during Myrna's wonderful drunk scene at the reception, where she'd struggled to hold it together as everyone gossiped about her being jilted.
After this scene, it seems as though the writer(s) just threw at the plot. One of the culprits is probably the Production Code, since adultery was not to be condoned, so the scandal of Alan and Mimi's meetings is muted and getting around the subject was even more awkward than Joan Crawford and Robert Montgomery's escapades in "Forsaking All Others." Jimmy spends the majority of the film drunk and dully witty, which is supposed to hide his true feelings, but comes across as obnoxious in scene after scene of his drunk nonchalance. However, the main culprit is the complete and utter lack of character motivation. Mimi we get, Jimmy somewhat, but Alan and Elizabeth not at all. As I watched the film I kept asking: why did Elizabeth invite Mimi to be her bridesmaid? Why did she condone Alan running around town with Mimi? What did Alan want from Mimi after his marriage? Who were they? And after Alan returns to the oh-so understanding Elizabeth, I still didn't understand the characters.
Needless to say, the only charm to this film is Myrna Loy. The script isn't at all good, and the direction was faulty, but Myrna and Franchot tried. Track this down only if you have a hankering to view Myrna's filmography.