Starring Constance Bennett, Brian Aherne, Billie Burke, Alan Mowbray, Patsy Kelly, Ann Dvorak, Tom Brown, Clarence Kolb, Bonita Granville, Marjorie Rambeau
(7-Very Good Film)
Zany. Irreverant. Charming.
Mrs. Emily Kilbourne: Shakespeare was right when he said… oh, I don’t know what he said, but Shakespeare was right!
The 1930’s screwball comedy period gave us so many wonderful classics. Merrily We Live may not be in the same class as, say, My Man Godfrey which it was clearly inspired by, but it is still very good. The wealthy Kilbourne’s have suffered for some time from the eccentric matriarch, Emily’s (Burke), commitment to hiring homeless men to be the family valet. One unqualified valet after the other has stolen goods and left in the middle of the night. Then one day, E. Wade Rawlins (Aherne), rolls in, looking destitute and is hired on the spot. While the family waits for him to do what every valet before him has done, they slowly find themselves growing attached to him; especially the eldest daughter, Geraldine (Bennett). Terrific cast with Billie Burke as the mother stealing the show, Merrily We Live, I expect, will improve on further viewings, once I stop comparing it to my favorite film, My Man Godfrey.
-Walter Tyrone Howard-