Love Before Breakfast (1936)

Directed by Walter Lang

Although Love Before Breakfast is a structurally sound film, the end result is not and it is due to the characterizations, at least for me.

This is a Carole Lombard film but unlike Hands Across the Table, this film, Love Before Breakfast, is a mess. In the first half of the film we get Preston Foster as the love interest, Scott Miller. But he’s so obnoxious as the wealthy guy who has decided he wants Lombard’s Kay Colby character, you just want him to blow up or something. Good grief, he’s annoying.

In the film’s second half, his character Miller more or less gets his way and what we end up with is Lombard playing a twit – and now you want her to blow up or something.

In other words, the extremes they put the characters to in order to manage the storyline are … well, too extreme. Neither is particularly likeable; both are actually quite annoying.

So while in a formal sense you can see how it probably should work in terms of execution it’s a disaster.

It’s a shame too, because some of the root elements are there. And certainly the actors are, at least as far as Lombard goes. But the role dissolves into such an idiot you just can’t get behind the story.

This is a good example of what does not work in romantic comedies.

(This review was written April 17, 2011. As of July 5, 2011 this movie receives a 3 out of 10 stars on IMDb — which gives you some idea of what people think of it. This one ain’t no gem, depsite the presence of Carole Lombard.)

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