13 June 2003 | chrstphrtully
Hilarious, Old-Time Film With Great Supporting Performances
This little seen film, which I caught for the first time over twenty years ago, is a wonderful throwback to 1930's screwball comedy in more ways than one. Young hick (Busey) starts college at the University of Minnesota, and falls in love with debutante O'Toole, despite her mother's intentions to marry her to society dolt Calvin. What ensues are a series of pratfalls and slapstick bits that, while not terribly deep, are nonetheless quite funny. More importantly, Busey and O'Toole are so damn likeable, you really do want them to fall in love.
But, like all great 1930s comedies, what makes the film sparkle is not the lead performances (in the 30s, these were usually played by likeable ingenues without much depth), but by the character actors who formed the background for the story. This film is no different in that the film is practically stolen from the leads by three splendid supporting performances -- Cloris Leachman as O'Toole's society-conscious mother, Eddie Albert as O'Toole's crusty grandfather and Busey's boss, and especially Tony Randall as Leachman's butler. Randall's performance deserves special note because his stiff demeanor is beautifully contrasted with his profane and off-color dialogue (the final words we hear from him, behind closed doors, almost made me fall off my chair laughing).
While no masterpiece, this is a wonderful picture to watch if you'd like a brief look at a long lost style of filmmaking.