Monday, October 13, 2008

His Girl Friday = Major Headache

Cary Grant, lead hunk of the classic Hollywood era, is paired with the witty Rosalind Russell in the film His Girl Friday. This groundbreaking film introduced overlapping dialogue in film - never before had a script violated the cardinal rule: characters should always complete lines before the next lines are spoken.

The basic plot is filled with twists and turns that spin an intricate web of deceit. Grant plays Walter Burns, a news reporter bent on keeping his ex-wife from remarrying. Russell, Burns' ex named Hildy, has the wit and attitude that mirrors a true reporter: smart, cunning, resourceful, and a force to be reckoned with. Both characters would do anything for a good story.

My Commentary: To be quite frank, I initially enjoyed the hustle and bustle of the newsroom. The clickity-clack of a typewriter mixed with the constant buzz of the telephone put me in the reporter's environment. It wasn't until Grant and Russell started to converse that I began to feel a headache coming on. I love a witty banter anyday, especially when it's written intelligently. However, these two put the Gilmore Girls to shame. I swear the script length was three times longer than the average film.

Another annoying point: Hildy's character arch really disappointed me. She went from a self-sufficient, confident woman to a dependent, damsel-in-distress. Her character didn't even receive a proper marriage proposal. Hildy began depending upon a man to receive her self-worth. It was a typical classical Hollywood move, but insulting nonetheless.

Ratings: **** (4 out of 10)

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