28 February 2006 | Snow Leopard
Chase & Sleeper Give It Enough Energy To Keep It Going
Charley Chase and Martha Sleeper create sympathetic characters, and give this two-reel comedy enough energy to keep it going even when the story exhausts its possibilities. The rather flimsy premise is not interesting or imaginative enough to carry the 20-plus minutes of running time, so it really relies rather heavily on the characters.
Chase plays a young man making a surprise visit to his mother just after her re-marriage, who is then obliged to act as a valet to his stepfather until his mother can summon up the courage to tell her new husband who he really is. Chase then gets involved in a series of slapstick difficulties with Sleeper, as the new housemaid. The story is predictable, and it offers only a couple of good moments as the confusion gets sorted out.
The slapstick works better, and it includes a couple of sequences that are quite funny. The shoe mix-up and the subsequent shaving sequence both have some very amusing moments, and include some resourceful ideas. These sequences - which happen to the two in which Chase and Sleeper carry the action together - are the best in the movie. The rest is watchable and occasionally entertaining, but not quite up to that level. But the two stars do show that they can create some good comedy when given the right material to work with.