Monday, November 24, 2003

REVIEW: How To Marry A Millionaire

Seen 18 November 2003, at the Brattle Theater (Make It Wide - Celebrating 50 Years of Widescreen)

* * * (out of four)

It's a good thing this movie's wide, because it's not much in the other direction - this film, based upon multiple stage plays, clocks in at roughly an hour and a half, with perhaps ten minutes at the start given over to Albert Newman conducting the studio orchestra, followed by five minutes of opening credits. Then, in the middle, there's another long scene where a group of models (including our main characters) are paraded in front of a man ostensibly shopping for his mother (but more interested in Lauren Bacall).

It's a thin movie - Lauren Bacall, Marilyn Monroe, and Betty Grable each get two suitors to choose between and something like an hour and a quarter between them to do it in. Naturally, they're going to choose the ones who like them for more than their beauty. It could be called dated, and in some ways it is, but consider that the plot of my favorite comedy of 2003, Intolerable Cruelty, also involves marrying for money, the only difference being that Catherine Zeta-Jones's character doesn't trade freedom for security.

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