Given this is 50% screwball in tone, I can allow Erik Rhodes' slightly wonky Italian performance and simply revel in the film's success as a lovely piece of entertainment. And let's not forget this is an Astaire/Rodgers piece so established chemistry and sharp choreography are staple. Also noteworthy is the Venetian draped sound stage - a real feat for '35 I imagine.
Some prefer Swing Time, and fair enough—it has "The Way You Look Tonight." But I'll take this one for its nimbler comedy & visual/sonic dynamism. It's pure sugar, decked in so much impossible luxury that the best film criticism on it is its use at the end of Purple Rose of Cairo. Yet such indulgence is handled with control; a reminder that even when peddling meaningless escapism by the pound, deftness is called for.
Destructive tendencies are inherently masculine. A screwball comedy burdened with a convoluted narrative of mistaken identity that, regrettably, does not allow for as many virtuosic dance numbers as Swing Time, Blue Skies or Royal Wedding. E. Everett Horton's best work remains his Fractured Fairy Tales narrations, but his queer domestic relationship with Eric Blore's valet character is doubtlessly fabulous.
This is a delightfully fun romantic musical comedy that offers up some great laughs and gags. Astaire may have not been the best of actors but he had charisma coming out of his ears with more gracefullness than an angel and his chemistry with Ginger Rogers is unrivaled. Hollywood's golden age when movies were pure fantasy, literally the sets feel like you're in a whole other world of cinematic design.