The reviews should help potential viewers decide whether or not they will like a movie. I thought there were certain aspects of this movie that were exceptionally good so I was surprised to see a below average rating. When this occurs, I often see a sharp disparity in the reviews where one group loves it and another group thinks it a flop. Both are valid subjective comments. Readers should read a couple of reviews from each of the two groups and see which group they identify with and view or not accordingly. I belong to the former group. I was blown away by the fantastic performance of Luise Rainer, arguably the best actress of her era - it was exactly the characterization the original play and movie called for. In contrast, when the movie came out, critics did not like it and it didn't do well at the box office (suffering a small financial loss). Critics called it too melodramatic, but melodramas have always been one of the major genres of movies - especially in the '30s and still survive today. Critics called Luise's performance "too feminine" (NY Times) and too animated. Those criticisms are a bit like calling a Boris Karloff horror film "too scary" - if you don't like horror (or melodrama), then don't watch horror (or melodrama). The movie and story line are NOT on the same level as, say, Gone With The Wind, but it's a good B level melodrama with all supporting actors and others doing A level jobs albeit on a modest budget. Individual reviewers thought Luise's style was too animated, but that's what the role calls for and her Oscar winning performance in The Good Earth had was no animation as that's what that role required. Others thought Luise's acting style was too different than the other actors. However, the others were playing "normal" people whereas Luise was portraying a character that was qualitatively different and doing it perfectly. The key theme is the Melvyn Douglas character (solid, all business, male) falling in love with Luise's (animated, happy-alive, ultra female) character. I've seen Luise's character in real life - rare, but still seen again and again - and those who are like Melvyn's character are very strongly attracted to her as they seem to sense that she will add another dimension, or two, to their life. Melvyn's character falls for Luise's character because of who she is - her personality. But then, to be brief and not give too much away, Melvyn's character begins to become disenchanted and critical as she's not more like him. This is a deep theme for a melodrama. Being fiction, there are many possible endings and many may have been disappointed (and lowered their rating) by the chosen ending not matching their preferred ending - I preferred a different ending, but my subjective choice is NOT inherently better than the chosen ending. And as I reflect on the movie, I'm free to change the ending to fit my taste.