Love Crazy

Gasser

Love Crazy (1941)

     Welcome to part two of the accidental trilogy of marriage movie reviews. I managed to watch three movies over two days that all portrayed life after marriage. The first, No More Ladies, was a drama that makes lover-boys rethink their extramarital affairs. Today’s Love Crazy review and tomorrow’s The Palm Beach Story, were made a year apart and take a comedic, albeit sloppy, approach to legalized romance. Coincidentally, all three films get the same mediocre review.

     I always love a William Powell-Myrna Loy movie because the pair have such great comedic chemistry that I do not think I have seen in any other on-screen recurring couple. Unfortunately for Love Crazy, the plot is as harebrained as Powell’s character becomes. After a number of mishaps interrupt Steve and Susan Ireland’s fourth anniversary plans, Powell’s Steve decides to hit the town with neighbor and former girlfriend Isobel (played by Gail Patrick, who also played a mistress in No More Ladies). Loy’s Susan finds out and in a case of mistaken identity lands in the arms of neighbor Ward Willoughby (Jack Carson). Thinking Steve’s interaction with Isobel was confined to the woman’s apartment, Susan leaves and plans a divorce. Steve hatches a plan to behave insane, which will prevent Susan from ending their marriage, but a series of moves by both parties lands Powell in an asylum.

     The movie is marked by plenty of fun Powell moments, such as his hanging by the head from an elevator door and his “freeing” of top hats into a fountain, but the nonsense escalates to the point that one’s head goes spinning. If I were to describe the entire plot it would consume twice as much space as I have already. Love Crazy is more a showcase of Powell and Loy’s comedic genius than of any coherent story line. Ultimately all misunderstandings and Susan’s adamant divorce plans are easily cleared up with a single line from Susan’s mother, which allows for the duration of the flick to spin out of control but being brought back to balance for a quick, easy ending.

     Of the three marriage movies I am reviewing, this one paints the most pleasant picture of wedlock, at least before things get out of control. Susan and Steve clearly love each other even if Susan’s feelings can be easily reversed over unclear circumstances. Love Crazy also serves to illustrate that once a person is declared insane, it is very difficult to prove that one’s actions, even those made in jest, are not more evidence of an ill state of mind. The movie is an entertaining one for its gags but not one that conveys any strong romantic feeling.

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