Sunday, July 22, 2012

THE REMARKABLE MR. PENNYPACKER (1959)

Light comedy about a free-spirited dude back in the late 1800's who runs a successful business with two branches, one in Philadelphia and the other in Harrisburg. That's all fine and dandy except that he also has a secret family in both towns with a total of seventeen kids!!! Somehow he's been able to keep the news of the two different families a secret for all of these years, but now that his oldest daughter (from the Harrisburg family) is getting married the cat might be out of the bag.

The premise for THE REMARKABLE MR. PENNYPACKER is pretty outrageous and ripe for all kinds of crazy THE MIRACLE OF MORGAN'S CREEK-style hijinks, but it just never happens. The reason Preston Sturges was so successful with TMOMC is he took an outrageous subject matter and went way over the top with it. Unfortunately, TRMP takes an outrageous subject matter and just kinda sits there like a bump on a log. Yeah, there's a few risque jokes and a some humorous moments, but there's never any real sense of danger or consequences for Pennypacker's actions. He's just kinda like "Whatever! Fuck it!" the entire movie.

THE REMARKABLE MR. PENNYPACKER is a pleasant movie that goes by fast, but I think it played it too safe for it's own good and just kinda whitewashed over a lot of the more unpleasant things that would arise from a situation like this. Worth a watch.