Love Happy - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Love Happy Reviews

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September 13, 2016
Love Happy is the final movie that features the three Marx brothers (Groucho Chico Harpo) in top billing and as the stars. Once again they do the occasional musical performances. This time Frank Tashlin co-writes the script (bringing, I'd imagine, some pure cartoonish brilliance to it, in fits and starts). And it's OK... ish. Actually Harpo is better than OK, but when isn't he? This isn't even his premier work and he's delightful to watch in scenes that should be rote like when the actress asks Harpo to be his manager and he mimes becoming a "big shot" with his feet up on a can of rubbish in a park, miming as well being on the phone with many agents. It's what he was made for as a performer, moments like this.

The main problem for me is a major lack of the brothers interacting with one another - Groucho barely appears in the first half for Pete's sake, and only through limited 4th wall breaks - yet there are a lot of legitimately entertaining musical numbers (really, there isn't a dull one, including a number where a woman sings about being frustrated with motherhood). There's once again another loony but half-baked crime plot, here involving stolen diamonds in a can of... sardines I think, Chico on piano, and a musical that is on thin ice as far as being produced. Objectively this isn't as good a movie as I'm rating it, but I'm being generous because when these guys do click in their scenes they are just that funny. In other words it's better than Room Service (oddly enough this has the storyline that it's closest to), but not by much.

It's also uncanny seeing Groucho without his grease-paint mustache as a movie character with the brothers.
August 5, 2015
This is the last Marx Brothers movie. It was the last Marx Brothers movie but was supposed to be just Harpo Marx. The backers of the movie got nervous and managed to get Chico Marx to come out of retirement and Groucho Marx to take a break from his TV show to be in the movie. The three brothers are never in the same scene until the end of the movie. Groucho is edited in as a narrator of the movie. To make sure to make in they managed to get Marilyn Monroe to do a small role with Groucho. It only last about 2 minutes. Most of the movie is Harpo doing his poor hobo humor and jokes. That was relevant in the 1930's but this movie was made just before the 1950's. The economy was expanding and there was little sympathy for hobos in the late 1940's and 1950's. All three brothers are showing their age. Groucho has a real mustache instead of a painted on one.
Super Reviewer
½ May 29, 2015
Okay but not the brothers best. Vera-Ellen's dance number based on Maugham's Rain is unusual and as always she dances beautifully. Marilyn is in and out within minutes but is a knockout.
½ April 15, 2015
Definitely not the Marx Bros best work, but notable for their last film together. Harpo has a larger role and things were funnier after Groucho finally makes more appearances toward the end.
½ November 2, 2014
definitely not the Marx Bros best work, but notable for their last film together. Harpo has a larger role and things were funnier after Groucho finally makes more appearances toward the end.
½ March 24, 2014
This "film" is technically the last Marx Brothers film, if you can call a film that features very few scenes in which they interact a Marx film. This started out life as a solo vehicle for Harpo, but it was decided the other two were needed to make this bankable at all. So Chico is shoehorned in, and Groucho has scenes that seem like an afterthought. I think at this point Groucho was already doing "You Bet Your Life" on NBC, and he probably had scheduling conflicts. Marilyn Monroe has an early film appearance here..which amounts to her walking in, delivering a line, and leaving. She gets high billing on video releases purely because of who she became. This has some good Harpo stuff, but not enough to save it, and not more than you can find in other, better Marx films.
February 19, 2014
The misleading poster promises Groucho and Marilyn but you'll see very little of them both. The only thing you'll get aplenty is a lot of Harpo, which is really boring, well-known and limited. One and half of the 2 stars are won by the fabulous presence of Ilona Massey alone, a perfect woman rightfully first over Marilyn any day of the week.
July 24, 2013
"Love Happy" is a dim shade of what the Marx Brothers once were. The disjointed script that began as a solo feature for Harpo appears to have been cut and pasted with hedge trimmers and duct tape to include the other two brothers. As a result, the story doesn't make sense, causing the writers to make Groucho into a narrator to explain what is going on (and eliminating him from the majority of the film). There is not a single scene in which all three brothers appear on screen and about a total of three minutes in which two of the three appear together. It is depressing. The equation of witty banter and slapstick humor that brought success to this trio is shelved in lieu of turning half of the script into Harpo squeezing his horn. The only redeeming moments of this film come when the henchmen empty Harpo's pockets for a solid four minutes (so classic) and Harpo and Chico's "conversation." Ironically, these two redemptive scenes are the only scenes that fit the Marx Brothers equation, reminding us of why we love these guys. The obligatory Chico piano solo is a relief from the otherwise mundane plot. Although it goes on for quite a while (probably to take up some time and make the film feature length), it is easily one of the most entertaining parts of the film since everything else is so awful. It's a bad sign when this film is best known for Marilyn Monroe's 15-second walk-on. This is a sad chapter for the Marx Brothers and it only cheapens their comic legacy. Do not watch this film or they may be ruined for you.
½ August 16, 2012
Technically, yes it is a Marx Brothers movie. Although Groucho barely appears, and it's mostly a Harpo/Chico vehicle. And Marilyn Monroe on the cover? It's because she appears for 1 scene near the end, and it's her big 'debut'. Even though Groucho on TV has said it was a 'terrible, terrible' movie, it's actually not as bad as one might expect. It's definitely weak compared to the brothers' other work, but there are some pretty good moments.
½ December 11, 2011
I Can See Why They Stopped

Harpo didn't mention it in his autobiography. Groucho didn't mention it in his first one and generally considered [i]A Night in Casablanca[/i] to be the brothers' last film. I don't know what Chico thought. But this movie, originally intended to be a solo project for Harpo, was cobbled together as a project for all three, because the money people said it had to be all three if they wanted it made. (The money people, bizarrely, included Mary Pickford.) Harpo and Chico have several scenes together, but it almost feels as though the brothers were just tired of one another, because Harpo only has a scene or two with Groucho, and Groucho and Chico never appear onscreen together at all. In fact, Groucho doesn't get much time onscreen even alone, and Marilyn Monroe, who only has something like two lines, has almost as much. But of course, she's on the cover, because she's Marilyn Monroe.

Detective Sam Grunion (Groucho, with one of his least-funny character names) is Our Narrator, telling us the story of the Romanoff diamonds. Throckmorton (Melville Cooper), who runs a high-end food emporium, has had them smuggled into the US in a can of Portuguese sardines with a Maltese Cross marked on the bottom of the tin. They are to be received by the mysterious and ominous Madame Egelichi (Ilona Massey). Only a funny-looking pickpocket with curly hair (Harpo, who doesn't even get a character name and is just called Harpo) got into the storage area of the store and has stolen quite a lot of food, including the special tin. He sneaks it back to the theatre where Mike Johnson (Paul Valentine) is trying to put on a show of unknowns, not usually an easy prospect. And he acquires Faustino the Great (Chico), an uneven prospect at best, though he immediately goes to work on Mr. Lyons (Leon Belasco), who owns the sets and costumes and wants to take them all back. Mike is in a relationship with ingenue Maggie Phillips (Vera-Ellen), and Madame Egelichi is sending thugs, including Raymond Burr, after Harpo.

It's really rather sad. There are some laughs in the story, but most of what makes a great Marx Brothers movie is gone by now. It would have been interesting to see the movie as originally planned, as the Harpo vehicle, and it would have been fun if the movie had acknowledged that what makes a Marx Brothers movie great is the interaction among the brothers and that we don't necessarily care about the plot. But there are none of those wonderful, nonsensical arguments between Chico and Groucho, because we never see them together. They don't even exchange a phone call, which Chico and Harpo do. I was uncertain until I checked the Memorable Quotes page on IMDB which of the women was the love interest, because we all know that the romantic subplot is the least important part of a Marx Brothers movie. Though I'm not at all sure the writers of this one did; they never seemed to before.

Oh, I suppose I'd still watch it if there were nothing better about, and the person who is calling it one of the worst movies ever made clearly hasn't seen many movies. (And how two minutes of Marilyn Monroe elevates it all that much, I cannot say.) But it's really rather disappointing. Better had they left on [i]A Night in Casablanca[/i]. As I'm sure they all would have agreed. But the thing is, it's awfully hard to completely suck the comedy out of a Marx Brothers movie. Groucho, the baby, was pushing sixty at the time, and it shows. Marilyn was twenty-three, and [i]it[/i] showed. But there was still humour involved, a laugh or two. The idea that Chico could talk to Harpo over the phone simply by reading his mind is an entertaining one, and the line about how Mr. Lyons shouldn't show off by being a better violinist than Chico was a pianist was actually laugh-out-loud funny. However, those moments were scarce compared to the laughs in their earlier films, and this isn't one I feel the need to own--or even watch again.

It is also an early example of product placement. The production had run out of money, and the way they paid for the rest of the movie was to have the thugs chase Harpo around the rooftops of Manhattan, with all sorts of billboards going past. Joe Breen tried to put a stop to it, but he was told that this was one thing his office didn't have authority over. On the one hand, preventing that scene would have nipped a few things in the bud, including the release of this movie. On the other, it was nice to know that there were some things which Joe Breen didn't have any authority over. And it is a charming enough scene, for all that, and one of the funniest moments in the movie. Unfortunately, that they were able to do with it led to the fact that people are constantly drinking Coke when there's no need to--and practically the entire movie of [i]Mac & Me[/i], from what I understand. Which is another which didn't need to be made.
May 24, 2011
It's no wonder that two of the three Marx Brothers refused to acknowledge that they even made the movie!
March 18, 2011
They should have called it "Love Crappy" because that would have been funnier than any of the "jokes" in this. Seriously, Groucho acts as narrator only until the last 20 minutes of the movie when he actually shows up. Most of the film involves Madame Egelichi's love story with Harpo... yes, Harpo, who can't freaking talk dominates most of the movie. Also, there's a bunch of dance numbers/women prancing around, but it's not funny nor entertaining. This movie sucks.
January 24, 2011
Okay, but weak for a Marx Brothers film.
½ December 7, 2010
Maybe the worst movie I've ever seen.

But it was neat to see Marilyn Monroe in her first screen credited performance...and boy! What a performance it was!
Super Reviewer
October 26, 2010
Although this was their last real movie together, the Marx Brothers still had their charm in the fifties, and this movie is hilarious. The story revolves around Harpo for a change, but Groucho and Chico have good roles as well. This movie is really funny, I liked it, and if you like the Marx Brothers you should see this one. I don't know why some people don't like it, I suppose it wasn't what they expected, but I thought it was a lot of fun.
½ August 11, 2010
A great knockabout comedy from the Marx Brothers, a vehicle only intended to star Harpo but would go on to include the three brothers. Some brilliant comic timing even though there are far funnier Marx Brothers' films - Duck Soup still reigns supreme. An enjoyable swansong movie for the infectious trio.
Super Reviewer
May 13, 2010
Love Happy" is remembered, primarily, as the last "Official" Marx Brothers film (they would all appear in brief vignettes in "The Story of Mankind", seven years later, but not as a team), but if the film were a baseball statistic, it would have an asterik (*), because it truly isn't a showcase of the brothers, together, but a comedy starring Harpo, with Chico in a supporting role, and Groucho doing narration, and making brief appearances, occasionally (rather like the "General Electric Theater" TV episode the brothers would do, in 1959, where Harpo and Chico played crooks with hearts of gold, and Groucho would make a surprise appearance at the finale, as their lawyer).

As a comedy, "Love Happy" is so-so, with Harpo providing some genuine laughs, particularly during an interrogation scene with villains Raymond Burr, Ilona Massey, Eric Blore, and Bruce Gordon, and in the rooftop finale, with Harpo offering the same kind of outrageous physical humor that he had demonstrated in the classic MGM comedies. But the rest of the plot, while mildly entertaining, is simply a musical variation of "Room Service", as an impoverished group of performers (headed by Paul Valentine and future star Vera-Ellen) struggle to put on a Broadway musical.

The back story of the film is possibly more entertaining than the movie, itself; Harpo had wanted to make a solo film throughout the forties, and had tinkered on the script for several years, while soliciting financial backing for the project. Chico, meanwhile, was running up huge gambling debts, as was often the case (while a brilliant card player, he was a notoriously bad gambler), and just as the Marxes had made "A Night in Casablanca", in 1946, to pay off his debts at that time, Harpo brought him into "Love Happy" to do the same. Unfortunately, the end of the decade was a depressed time for film making (with television making inroads into the ticket-buying public), and backers would only fund the project if all three brothers would appear in the movie.

Groucho, by now a genuine TV star, thanks to the "You Bet Your Life" quiz show, hated the script of "Love Happy", and had little desire to co-star in the film. He was, however, loyal to his brothers, and finally reached a compromise; he would only appear briefly, would not have to wear his trademark greasepaint eyebrows and mustache, and would have final approval of his dialog and the performers working with him. He could honestly say he helped 'discover' Marilyn Monroe, at an open audition (watching two other starlets walk across a stage, followed by Marilyn, when asked for his pick for a small role, he raised his eyebrows and quipped, "You're kidding, right?")

Be warned: While "Love Happy" is not terrible, it certainly is no "Night at the Opera", or "Duck Soup"!
½ March 9, 2010
Groucho is barely in it but this is much funnier than The Big Store, Go West, or At The Circus. Indeed, some classic Harpo moments are to be had such as when gangsters search his coat pockets or where he is "tortured" for a long time. Also, Marilyn Monroe's first (very brief) appearance onscreen.
December 9, 2009
Their older stuff is obviously much better, but this was enjoyable.
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