Thursday, November 17, 2011

She's a newspaper man!

I bet this was a great play. The exuberance and quickness of the dialog and action left me feeling out of breath watching it on film, and I bet it was an even more rewarding experience live. But the film's decision to make Hildy a girl, and the ex-wife of her editor, is brilliant! That kind of word play and verbal sparring is the best kind of flirty foreplay.

For the most part, I thought the film was pretty progressive, gender-wise. Though there were some moments about "being a real woman" and the slightly-out-of-character "why don't you love me" breakdown at the end, all the other newspapermen take Hildy completely seriously, and respect her skill and drive. Grant's Walter is clearly attracted to her talent as much as her gams, and watching them work together to get the "killer" hiding in the desk out of the press room was pretty awesome. The mismatch with Bruce (who "looks like that Hollywood fellow, Ralph Bellamy" hee) couldn't have been more obvious. With his little umbrella, he could never keep up with Hildy!

The newspaper plot itself I thought was a little underdeveloped--it was clearly just a framework to showcase Hildy and Walter. I still can't quite figure out the whole "production for use" argument. I also think it's interesting that Hildy and Walter were married before--reminded me of The Philadelphia Story. I can't figure out if this is a conservative anti-divorce message? A romantic once-soulmates-always-soulmates argument? If it somehow makes the flirtation more acceptable because they were once together? What do you think, Nat? And also, what did you think when what's-her-face totally just jumped out the window?

1 comment:

  1. I don't think it's anti-divorce because everyone seems ok with the fact that she got divorced and is re-marrying. Everyone's problem is that they don't think she's housewife material. So, I guess it's a once-soulmates-always-soulmates with the added know who you are and who your partner is--Niagra Falls isn't going to be your honeymoon if you're marrying a newspaper man and you're not getting home-cooked meals every night if your wife is a newspaper woman.

    It probably makes the flirtation more interesting that they were once together--this is the era of flirting in movies and witty dialogue between genders even in just-met-you-courtship.

    What's-her-face jumping out the window just seems crazy to me but she seems completely bonkers so I guess it works.