Barrymore gives one of the great portrayals of the old-school actor manager. It really comes to life in the second half when both he and Lombard are given free reign to revel in each other's capacity to turn on a sixpence with their emotions and recognise how their (in)authenticity has been the price of their art. Anarchic and farcical, it's also a very enjoyable satire and celebration of theatricality.
A very enjoyable screwball comedy that benefits from great performances from John Barrymore and Carole Lombard. It's just a shame that it never really feels as quick and sharp as many that followed, but this certainly deserves to be seen if you're interested at all in the films of Howard Hawks specifically, and the comedy genre in general.
Lombard is so good (the perfect blend of tomboy and sexiness) and Barrymore channels his wild-eyed theatrical demagogue (German expressionist eyes with the body language of Hitler) in this very funny screwball comedy. OTT certainly, but a look at the world of showbiz calls for a lack of restraint if anything does, and the script holds up, considering the antics of today's primadonnas.
John Barrymore said that this was his favorite of all the films he'd made and you can see why. This film is an absolute gem with Barrymore hamming it up as the great Oscar Jaffe and Carole Lombard giving one of her best performances as Lily Garland, the lingere model turned actress. This film is a definite must see.