Charming Lubitsch comedy that has the "Lubitsch touch" in spades. Oberon is awesome here, easily her career performance. Douglas is cool as a cucumber, similar to his other forties films, ala Blandings Dream Home. Meredith steals the show playing an asshole/genius that almost feels like an Oscar Levant type character. Hilarious from beginning to end, with the whole plot centering around...hiccups. Yep, crazy. 5 stars
Finally I understand why Merle Oberon was a star. I needed the Lubitsch touch and a hiccup crisis to show me the light, apparently. That said, Oberon's charm is far from the film's only delight. Lubitsch's ellipsis are beautiful, as always, the cast is overall perfect, the costumes are glamorous and the script is delightfully adult, sexy and funny. I could spend a lifetime just watching Lubitsch's comedies.
Definitely not Lubitsch's best film, but it does have some of his funniest scenes housed within its 84 minutes. Oberon and Meredith's first meeting was clearly a major influence on Martin Scorsese and Nick Pileggi when they came to write the "you think I'm funny?" scene from GOODFELLAS. Essentially the film is encapsulated by the metaphor of hiccups in a relationship; those uncertain feelings that rob us of sleep.
Burgess Meredith's performance as the contrarian "genius" is just brilliant. He's small and virile, a sort of Picasso figure, magnetising the viewers as well as the bored protagonist. An early archetype of the total prick, but a complete joy to watch. Plus some great dialogue: Larry: Interesting woman. Jones: She certainly had a couple of interesting angles. Larry: I didn't notice them. Jones: Good.
“I’m a perfectly normal woman.” “Well, that sounds awfully dull." “My dear, you mustn’t say that about yourself—not even in fun!” ... “You see, most people know nothing about themselves—nothing—their own real personality is a complete stranger to them. Now, what I’m trying to do is to introduce you to your inner self... Wouldn’t you like to meet you?” “No. You see, I’m a little shy."
Charming film from Lubitsch that doesn't rank amongst his best but is a fun watch nonetheless. Oberon is charming, Fairbanks steady and Meredith a hoot. Seemed somewhat of a risqué undertone for 1941. Script often just sings but lacks the magic of some of Lubitsch's finest.