I Love You Again Reviews
Lots of witty and ironic dialog, which, judging from some of the comments about this film here, apparently flies over some people's heads.
Just to be clear, there is such thing as amnesia. People really have been known to forget aspects of their pasts. It's just that it doesn't happen the way it does in the movies. In fact, probably the most common sort of amnesia resulting from the ever-popular bump on the head is forgetting just that moment and maybe a little bit leading up to it. Bumping a person on the head a second time doesn't make them remember the first one; it just causes additional brain damage. On the other hand, the dramatic prospects of a person unable to remember their past are pretty exciting to play with. Oh, sure, we don't always use them for dramatic prospects. Comedic ones are pretty popular, too. However, it's not the first instance in which Hollywood gets medicine wrong, and it certainly won't be the last. There are also some actually good versions of the story, and while this one isn't great, it certainly isn't bad, either. It's probably better because it has talented performers in it. That makes a difference.
Larry Wilson (William Powell) is a stuffy, boring man. For reasons I'm not completely sure of, he's on a boat. Someone else, "Doc" Ryan (Frank McHugh), nearly falls overboard because he's staggering drunk. And when I say "nearly," I mean "doesn't because Larry saves him." Only when Larry saves him, he whams his head a good one--and it doesn't cause amnesia. No, this is the mythical second blow, the one that brings his memory back. You see, he isn't Larry Wilson at all. He's George Carey, a crook who was, for many years, living the staid, boring life of a small-town pottery magnate. So staid and boring, in fact, that his lovely wife, Kay (Myrna Loy), is divorcing him because she just can't take it anymore. (What she ever saw in him to marry him in the first place is not revealed.) Only, of course, George isn't going to stand for losing Kay if he can help it, even though he also wants to con someone in the town for as much money as he can manage. The fact that these goals are mutually exclusive should let you know how the story goes.
One of the things I find interesting is that no one seems to notice that George can't do a lot of the things that Larry can. Oh, they notice when George does things that Larry wouldn't, though no one seems half so suspicious of that as they ought--even when the notoriously miserly Larry is suddenly free-spending, paying more for a nightgown for Kay than I would pay for one myself now. And I mean new. I think I could buy three or four new nightgowns for what he pays for hers--and it certainly isn't anything I'd wear to bed, either. When she says the words he used to propose to her, it's just painful. However, she doesn't seem as surprised as I would be that he isn't like that anymore. I mean, let's take a common film character we all know and love. Let's take, oh, Atticus Finch. If Atticus came home from court one day and started sitting around the house in his underwear, you'd notice, right?
Really, that's the problem with movies like this, movies based on radical personality change. You need to leave us with enough reason to like the original/altered personality that you understand why anyone liked that person in the first/second place, unless the whole point is that no one likes the altered/original personality. Larry is boring; all right, that makes him a pillar of the community type. But that doesn't make him the type who could get his hands on Myrna Loy, even [i]Cheaper by the Dozen[/i] Myrna Loy. She likes a little bit of pep. A basic interest factor. Someone who will notice when she's wearing something new for some reason other than to ask how much it cost. She wants someone who will show her a good time. And Larry simply won't. Larry is . . . upstanding. In short, boring. We get that Kay's mother (Nella Walker) never liked him, and that's perfectly reasonable. But why did Kay? Did she think she could graft a personality onto him?
Apparently, Powell and Loy did fourteen movies together. I, of course, am most acquainted with the [i]Thin Man[/i] series; their most famous, especially now, is probably [i]Manhattan Melodrama[/i]. (In fact, that was one of the fun things about [i]Public Enemies[/i]--it was the first time I'd ever seen Myrna's face that big, that luminous. In short, with that quality that only appearing on the big screen really gives someone.) This is a minor one, or as Graham put it, "one that no one's ever heard of." Which, I must admit, I had not. I wasn't even sure what it was about, not least because the library's copy comes in a case that only features the title in a plain font. This is probably because it originally comes from one of those box sets we've discussed before, one of the ones where they don't have as many cases as they do films. But I opened the case, looked at the disc--which has lovely Loy on it--and knew that I'd have to keep it to watch with Graham. Powell and Loy are not a guarantee of quality, but they give a strong presumption.