This movie is a disaster! With a title like IF YOU COULD ONLY COOK I was expecting all kinds of funny skits about a woman who's hired to be a cook but can't cook! Now that could have been comedy gold, but "Noooo!" this turkey has nothing to do with cooking! Instead it's just a forced love story about two people who, as far as I can tell, have nothing in common. Wealthy automobile executive Herbert Marshall gets in a big argument with his board of directors so he goes for a walk to cool down. While sitting on a park bench he meets unemployed Jean Arthur. She's looking through the Help Wanted classifieds and the only thing she can find is a position for a cook and butler/husband and wife. She talks Herbert into trying out for the job and they get hired on the spot! In my opinion that is a wonderful set up for some screwball excitement and in the hands of somebody like Howard Hawks, Frank Capra or Preston Sturges this movie would have been a sidesplitter, but we're not so lucky. Instead of going the over the top screwball route IYCOC is just a clusterfucked mess.
The biggest problem is the script. It sucks. There's nothing remotely funny at all. If I didn't already know this was a comedy I would have just mistaken it for a badly written drama. My second biggest complaint is Herbert Marshall. I liked him in stuff like THE FLY and FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT, but in this one he has the screen presence of an antique lamp. Terrible.
I have a few other complaints but they're not worth listing. Just take my word for it: this movie is a bore.