There would have been a time when I would have found this corny and predictable but the message in Jack Lemmon's town hall speech could not be more timely - and simple and true. In a time where every news story relates another big business coup against heartland America, 'It Happened to Jane' gives us a bit of hope that maybe David could still beat Goliath. The goliaths of the world have power, media, secrecy and government controlled to a science, it seems impossible to stand up for the principles that once motivated this country. Indeed with the sly introduction of genetically-engineered crops, out-sourced jobs, hormone-enriched meat and fish, remotely manipulated bank loans and role models presented not for their values but for their ability to attract the largest, lowest common denominator, the average American has a tough time discerning quality from what should be a simple process. 'It Happened to Jane' may simplify things a bit, but it recognizes the machinery that can thwart an honest person who does not try to second guess everyone else. That person is Jack Lemmon's character, George Denhan, not Doris Day's Jane. He is the unglamorous good guy who misses his chance with the girl, not through not noticing her but by not appearing as the rugged take-what-I want he-man. He is the honest, reliable, very intelligent, creative man who lives in the present, volunteering for good causes and ignoring the cheap lure of instant celebrity. He is the one who, when all seems lost, chooses not to give in and follow the easiest expedient in the moment, but stands true to his ideals, a quality that allows him to find a solution when facing the impossible. He has the courage of his convictions.
Day and Lemmon have an interesting chemistry on-screen. There is a spark but it is closer to real life where true love can still exist even burdened by everyday obligations, children and differences of opinion. While not perfect, 'It Happened to Jane' is well worth a viewing.