The More the Merrier (1943)

Passed   |    |  Comedy, Romance, War


The More the Merrier (1943) Poster

During the World War II housing shortage in Washington, two men and a woman share a single apartment and the older man plays Cupid to the other two.


7.7/10
5,833

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6 August 2002 | zetes
10
| Comic masterpiece!
Easily the best film that I've ever seen from George Stevens (and I really like several of his other films). Jean Arthur stars as a woman renting out half of her apartment because of a housing shortage in Washington D.C. Charles Coburn, who is in Washington to help solve the crisis, weasles his way into the apartment even though Arthur didn't want a male roommate. The morning after, Joel McCrea arrives with yesterday's newspaper, not knowing that the vacancy exists no more. No matter, though. Coburn rents half of his half of the apartment to McCrea, unbeknownst to Arthur. God knows this premise could have made one hell of a sitcom, but it also makes a damn funny movie. There isn't an unfunny scene in the entire film, and several scenes vie for the title of Best Romantic Comedy of all times with Preston Sturges' contemporaneous films. The three performers are remarkable. They have great chemistry as a comic trio, and McCrea and Arthur throw sparks off the screen with their surprisingly erotic romance. I failed to mention that Arthur is engaged to an older man, adding to the dilemma. Richard Gaines is also excellent as that fiancé. I love the way his mouth moves. Grady Sutton has a very funny cameo near the end of the film as a waiter. Stevens' direction is exceptional. It's shocking how believably he pulls off the scene in which McCrea and Arthur wander around the apartment without bumping into each other. This is reminiscent of a famous scene from Buster Keaton's The Navigator, and it's even funnier. Or that intimate scene where McCrea gives a carrying case to Jean Arthur. Their acting is so subtly romantic in that scene. I love the way Stevens films it. 10/10.

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