Friday, September 3, 2010

I MET HIM IN PARIS | 1937 | Kitten, your dad's a cad.

In I MET HIM IN PARIS, Kay Denham (Claudette Colbert) leaves her long-time beau in the States while she takes a "bachelorette party for one" trip to Paris. In Europe she meets up with playwright George Potter (Melvyn Douglas) and smooth-talking Gene Anders (Robert Young).

After arriving in Paris, Kaye loses a bit of her independent spirit and slinks into the comfort of the "American Bar." Here, she meets Gene and George. Almost instantly, Gene professes his love to Kay and asks her to travel to Switzerland with him. She turns him down because he's too quick and slick. After he calls her a "'fraidy cat," she agrees to the trip. (Just think how far he'd have gotten if he'd double-dog-dared her). George invites himself on their trip because he knows Gene is up to no good, and because he's slowly falling for Kay. In the end Kay's beau from home shows up, and she has three men fighting for her... by sitting together at the bar, drinking martinis, talking trash about each other, and waiting on her. (Awesome).

This film ticks a lot of the Screwball Comedy boxes: An independent woman, travel, cocktails, everyone has a whole lot of time on their hands, urbanites go to the country, and adults who should know better fumble their way through romantic relationships. Yet it never gains that loose caboose momentum that is found in more inspired screwball films. Don't get me wrong, the dialog is pretty smart, the plot is rock solid, the pacing is just about right and the characters are fun to hang out with (especially George). It's just not a Classic Screwball, just Screwball. But sometimes that's more than enough.

Released: 1937
Director: Wesley Ruggles
Producer: Adolph Zukor
Leads: Claudette Colbert, Robert Young, Melvyn Douglas
Writer: Claude Binyon, Helen Meinardi (story)