24 April 2005 | F Gwynplaine MacIntyre
...and vacation from anything remotely funny.
Florence Rice was the daughter of Grantland Rice, an extremely popular and influential sportswriter of the 1920s and '30s who also starred in the 'Sportlight' series of sport-related movie shorts. He used his influence to help his daughter get a movie contract. Florence Rice proved to be a blonde of above-average looks but no great acting ability. She's pleasant to watch on-screen, but leaves no lasting impression.
SLIGHT SPOILERS. 'Vacation from Love' is mere froth, and it's not even especially good froth. Florence Rice plays Patricia Lawson, a society daughter who's about to marry a man named T. Ames Pierpont the Third (you mean there's two more of him?). He wears hornrimmed glasses, and his name is T. Ames Pierpont the Third, so you just know he's going to be left at the altar. Veteran character actor Andrew Tombes gives a brief but hilarious performance as the judge presiding over the civil ceremony. When he asks if anyone objects, somebody does: a handsome saxophone player, portrayed by Dennis O'Keefe. Apparently he objects because lovely blonde Patricia is about to marry a rich nerd named T. Ames Pierpont instead of a handsome but penniless sax player.
Yes, friends, this is the 1,398,427th movie in which the heroine dumps a dull responsible guy in favour of a reckless yahoo with too much testosterone ... and also the 1,398,427th movie in which we're meant to approve her choice. On a whim of the moment, Patricia ditches Pierpont and runs off with Bill Blair, the saxophonist. From the way he honks that sax, he should change his name to Blare.
From here, it degenerates into very predictable marital comedy. Andrew Tombes's brief role is funny: no other character actor conveyed flustered frustration better than bald-domed Tombes. (Edgar Kennedy's 'slow burn' conveyed a slightly different emotion.) Once Tombes is off the screen, this movie goes downhill fast. Herman Bing and the great Edward Brophy are welcome presences, but neither is up to his usual high standard. I'll rate this movie just 4 out of 10.