Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thursday Romantic Comedy Classic

Welcome to a new weekly feature here at Movies with Abe, Thursday Romantic Comedy Classic. I’m taking a course called The Romantic Comedy where we’re charting the history and development of romantic comedies from the 1920s to the present. We’ll be watching some pretty iconic films, some of which I haven’t seen before. Each week, I’ll be providing a short review of one romantic comedy classic from the annals of history.

Bringing Up Baby
Directed by Howard Hawks
Released February 18, 1938

This zany film is the ultimate comedy of errors, where a rather flappable zoologist Dr. David Huxley (Cary Grant) finds himself chasing his own tail after he meets Susan Vance (Katharine Hepburn), a woman completely on her own page in life oblivious to pretty much everything David says and does. The presence of a leopard, the title-referenced Baby, is certainly random and strange, but it fuels a film that’s never quite grounded in reality but perpetually elevated by slapstick brilliance. The film’s success is attributable mostly to the typical romantic comedy chemistry of its lead stars, or in this case, their ability to play their respective roles so determinedly against the other character. Grant is a neurotic mess constantly struggling to backstep David’s latest problem caused by Susan, and he’s effortlessly funny in his continuously deteriorating state of sanity. Hepburn has an incomparable screen presence where she completely inhabits her role, and this is a less serious performance where she’s just as effortlessly annoying but somehow still charming and absolutely a wonder to be seen on screen. The film gets wackier and crazier as it goes on, but its humor is also exponential and multiplies with time. At a point, it become difficult to chart exactly how the characters, situations, and leopards got to the place where they are, but it’s a fun ride and an unforgettable screwball comedy.


No comments: