Starring Herbert Marshall, Jean Arthur, Leo Carrillo, Lionel Stander, Frieda Inescort, Gene Morgan
(7-Very Good Film)
Light. Charming. Attractive.
Out of the Great Depression came some of Hollywood’s most charming movies, If You Could Only Cook being a nice example, though at around 70 minutes and with a premise familiar to anyone who’s seen a romantic comedy, this film can hardly be considered complex. Herbert Marshall plays a rich, car designer named James Buchanan. Unhappily engaged to socialite golddigger, James meets a woman, Joan Hawthorne (Arthur), in the park who’s desperate to find employment. She laments that the only job available to her, private cook, requires her to have a husband who can work as butler. James, being intrigued by the young woman, decides to help, and the two, pretending to be married, unwittingly become servants for a gangster, Mike Rossini (Carrillo). This is a really lovely movie. One in which all the characters are lovable, even the gangsters. Jean Arthur is one of my favorite movie stars and Marshall, who I am less familiar with, is fantastic here.
-Walter Tyrone Howard-