Owing to the classy title, stellar cast, and the surprise thrill I got from Hands Across the Table, I had high hopes for this low budget comedy starring Lombard, Cesar Romero, and Preston Foster. This is a screwball yarn about a young woman pursued by two men–her fiancé who suddenly takes a job in Japan, and a wealthy businessman who takes the opportunity of her fiancé’s absence to court her vigorously. He seems to show up everywhere she does, and the young woman is disinterested to say the least. Just as the businessman begins to get the hint, the young woman finds that she has fallen in love with him and the tables are turned.
That is about as much of the plot as I can muster up. It’s definitely a vehicle solely to show the beauty of its stars, with little attention paid to the plot or the plausibility of the story. I had a difficult time watching it, as I simply could not follow the seemingly arbitrary sequence of scenes or the flimsy, poorly developed plot. It feels like an incomplete film, as though some vital scenes ended up on the cutting room floor.
The movie was inspired by a work from Faith Baldwin, the noted early 20th century novelist. She is credited at the start of the film as the author of the novel on which this story was based, but in fact no novel was ever published. Love Before Breakfast was a short story in a magazine written by Baldwin that never expanded into novel form.
A redeeming quality of this movie is, indeed, the sheer beauty of Carole Lombard. There is one scene in which the character receives a very authentic-looking black eye. The beauty of Carole Lombard is completely unfettered, even appearing in raggedy clothes with the black eye, she displays a radiant glamor that was unmatched.
Thanks for reading, see you next time!