His Girl Friday Reviews
Original rating: 8-24-2012 (8/10)
A farce, and not a good one. Largely involves people, and Cary Grant especially, talking/shouting quickly at each other. Gets even worse later in the movie when several people do it simultaneously. Very irritating.
There are one or two good jokes along the way but for the most part the movie is cheap slapstick stuff, and relies on us thinking that talking fast=funny.
Not anywhere near as good as it is made out to be.
Twice ironical reference is made to real names - Grant describes Russell's fiancÚ Bruce as looking like Ralph Bellamy and later he refers to Archie Leech, of course Grant's real name. All good fun and the miracle is the pace just keeps the original murder of a (black) cop, an attempted suicide and the impending hanging all at bay.
Is this movie almost without any music? I only noticed it at the end. It was as if it would have only been a distraction otherwise. The dialogue took up every second of the soundtrack!
I'm guilty of criticizing ridiculously speedy dialogue on shows like Gilmore Girls, but I kind of like it here. The layers are astounding, several conversations happening at once; a multidimensional experience, too bad this wasn't shot 3D. How the actors handle it must've involved a great deal of practice. How it looked on paper is confounding - after searching for the screenplay, I was disappointed not to find at least two column, if not three column dialogue -- I'm suspicious of it's legitimacy. It's by far one of the fastest-paced, jampacked wit, chaotic circumstantial movies I've ever seen, and yet Howard Hawks manages to smooth it over and deliver it clean.