12 December 2007 | Bunuel1976
WE'RE NOT MARRIED! (Edmund Goulding, 1952) **1/2
This is another early Marilyn Monroe picture; in this case, it's a compendium of stories involving a handful of marriages presided over by reliable Victor Moore which are discovered to have been illegal because his term of office hadn't yet officially started when the ceremony was performed! So, he's made to send each of these a letter explaining the awkward situation and, according to where they stand at that particular moment in their married life, see how they decide to act upon it. The couples are played by Fred Allen and Ginger Rogers, David Wayne and Marilyn Monroe, Paul Douglas and Eve Arden, Louis Calhern and Zsa Zsa Gabor, and Eddie Bracken and Mitzi Gaynor. The least episode is the one with Douglas and Arden, where the latter becomes suspicious of just what goes on during the former's business trips; the Calhern-Gabor episode is mildly interesting for having her turn out a schemer planning to appropriate her husband's fortune with the help of shyster lawyer Paul Stewart
until he's saved by the propitious arrival of Moore's letter!; Wayne has a hard time adjusting because of Monroe's triumph in a "Mrs. Mississippi" contest believing his troubles over when the marriage is revealed to have been null, his 'wife' promptly enrolls in a "Miss Mississippi" competition (which, naturally, she wins); Bracken is a soldier who goes AWOL in order to consolidate his wedding vows when it transpires that his child (whose birth is imminent) may be declared illegitimate Lee Marvin appears briefly as Bracken's buddy in this, one of the two most satisfying episodes; the other is the one featuring constantly-bickering pair Rogers and Allen, which unbearable situation threatens to sink their early-morning radio show (where they're ironically billed as the ideal married couple)! Again, the film is handled with utmost professionalism and is undeniably entertaining while it's on but which now feels dated and undistinguished.