Monday, December 14, 2009

IF YOU COULD ONLY COOK (1935)

This movie is a fucking 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. The only thing I've ever seen him in is THE FLY and Hitchcock's FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT. He was fine in those movies, but in this one he has the screen presence of an antique lamp. Comedy is obviously not his calling.

I have a few other complaints but they're not worth listing. Just take my word for it: this movie is a bore.