23 August 2001 | mark.waltz
A disappointing domestic comedy.
Let me just start by saying that Claudette Colbert and Fred MacMurray were two of the finest romantic comedy teams of the 30's and 40's. In more than half a dozen films, they proved themselves to be a perfect match on screen. They are best remembered for "The Egg and I" made by Universal right before this film. Although that film (which lead to the "Ma & Pa Kettle" series) had its flaws, it is a masterpiece compared to this. The story is this: Colbert, a widow with three young kids, is all set to marry MacMurray, but the kids (especially the baby daughter) are against it from the start. They nag and complain every change they get. When Colbert's mother breaks a leg during the ceremony, the newlyweds are forced to take the kids on their honeymoon since no one else wants to look after them. From there, the kids cause all kinds of trouble that threatens Colbert and MacMurray's happiness. What weakens this comedy is the fact that the kids are so bratty and the adults are too wimpy to put their feet down. Colbert and MacMurray are fine, and Hattie McDaniels, as the maid, gives a very funny performance as well. However, the children simply just aren't funny, no matter how "cute" their schemes try to be. They have absolutely no motivation for what they do: they are just simply brats. And of course, we have a scheming "other woman" as well thrown in for good measure. Missing the charm of "The Egg and I" (where at least the newlyweds had to battle nature), "Family Honeymoon" is a mediocre film that the talented stars can't even save.