Penny Serenade (1941)

Not Rated   |    |  Drama, Romance


Penny Serenade (1941) Poster

A couple's big dreams give way to a life full of unexpected sadness and unexpected joy.


7.1/10
6,551

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12 August 2004 | Snow Leopard
A Generally Effective Bittersweet Story
With sympathetic main characters and an approach that is usually understated enough to avoid over-sentimentality, this bittersweet story works reasonably well most of the time. Irene Dunne plays this kind of role well, handling a wide range of material while keeping her emotions and reactions restrained enough to be believable. Cary Grant is better than one might expect him to be in this kind of role. It's possible that Edgar Buchanan's performance might be the most important of all in holding it together, since he is ideal in providing some down-to-earth balance, whether his character is repairing printing presses or giving the young couple some tips on taking care of their baby.

Director George Stevens does a good job with the pacing, and the story-framing technique with the various songs works pretty well. While there may be a few moments when the sentimentality gets dangerously high, most of the time it remains balanced, and certainly more so than is the case with present-day movies of this kind. It's far from flawless, but it is generally effective in telling the kind of story that takes a combination of sensitivity and restraint to tell believably.

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