Friday, December 13, 2013

ONCE UPON A HONEYMOON (1942)

Five years after making my favorite movie of all time (THE AWFUL TRUTH) Leo McCarey and Cary Grant team up once again to make this wildly uneven and depressing romantic comedy/spy caper set in pre-World War II Europe.  Radio broadcaster Grant is working on a hot story about a Austrian Baron (and his gold digging American wife Ginger Rogers) who's going around Europe and wherever they go, soon falls to the Nazis.  Sounds hilarious!  Anyway, Grant falls for Ginger Rogers (who is somehow too stupid to realize that her husband is a top ranked Nazi!) and naturally she falls in love with him.  Trouble is she's married to one of Hitler's most loyal henchmen.  All kinds of funny stuff happens like assassination attempts, a successful assassination, city's getting bombed, a man turning his wife over to the Nazis, Jews fleeing, children crying, a guy drowning and Grant and Rogers getting thrown into a prison camp for Jews.  It's a feel good laugh riot!

I'm sure there's fans of this movie, there's fans of every movie, but I found ONCE UPON A HONEYMOON torture to get through.  The pace was slow, the story was all over the place, Ginger Rogers acting was terrible, hell even Grant's wasn't anything to brag about and the patriotism!  Oh my god!  At one point Rogers and another actor actually raised their right hand and recited the Pledge of Allegiance!!!  If that's not enough to turn you away then go for it.  Maybe you'll like it.  As for me, I hope I never see this propaganda misfire ever again.