They don’t make 'em like they used to. This zany Frank Capra-directed comedy offers, among laughs, wisecracks, a wrestling catfight, and a few tunes. It all ends in a climax at the most lavish outdoor wedding imaginable, with the type of inevitable ending you see a mile away, but is winning enough that you don't care.
How can I describe this film properly? It feels familiar, kind of a Philadelphia Story rehash, complete with the unfortunate implication that the heroine needs an ex to tell her that she doesn't love the man she's going to marry WITHIN A WEEK! Despite the typical old movie symptom of values dissonance, I found it enjoyable. None of the songs are classics, with the exception of an aria from Verdi’s Riggoletto, sung by a blind orphan girl, and the only example of pure Capracorn in the movie. Only one, “In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening,” is a real earworm, the kind that never ever will leave your head ever.
But the leading ladies blew them both out the water. Jane Wyman was amazing,the usually prim and somber actress lending herself swimmingly to comedy; she rages, wrestles, trips, make a fool of herself, and sings a little, too, all the while holding on to her dignity, smarts, and stubbornness. Alexis Smith, as the maid of honor and the smitten "kissing cousin" of Wilbur, is also a hoot, guided by Crosby into a Pygmalion-like transformation from dry, insecure blue-blood to a confident whistle-worthy head-locker. What could have come off as condescending portraits of women whose end goals are nabbing men, become amusing characters through the spunk, charisma, and energy of the two ladies.
Not as well known as it should be, I thought the movie was very good and well worth watching. It's nice to see a little fluff once in a while, and this one was a fine, frivolous, funny, and fun puff of fluff.