2 February 2019 | boblipton
I Want A Better Movie
Joan Blondell testifies as to Conrad Nagel's cruelty to her sister, Gloria Dickson in their divorce -- off the witness stand she agrees with him. She then goes to a diner, where she dumps coffee on Dick Powell. Soon they are married and broke. Dick is a lawyer, but the only opening he can find is with Sidney Blackmer's firm,specializing in divorces, and Joan can't stand the idea. However, Dick helps out their friend, Frank Fay, and he has a real knack for it. He goes to work for Blackmer, earning excellent money. It all reaches a breaking point...
There's lots of talent on display in this Paramount movie, including the always-delightful Harry Davenport and Jessie Ralph as Joan's grandparents. However, this movie, under the direction of Ralph Murphy, never quite works. It's supposed to start off as a comedy, but never really achieves that. Instead, it starts turning towards drama, and never really achieves that. Miss Dickon, who is supposed to serve as an object lesson in the dreariness and despair of divorce, never does anything to gain our sympathy, to make her suffering palpable to the audience. Furthermore, while Blondell and Powell were married when they made this movie, there isn't the sort of on-screen chemistry to raise this out of the ordinary. The result is good -- with a cast like that, it's hard to make a dull movie -- but never more than ordinary.