Sunday, December 19, 2010

Forever Female (1954)

Well, I'll state right up front that I am not the intended audience of this movie, so take anything I say with a grain of salt. Someone who enjoys romantic comedies might like this movie a lot, but if William Holden hadn't been in it, I wouldn't have watched it, or I would have got partway in and turned it off. And that's because the two lead women characters (played by Ginger Rogers and Pat Crowley) seem deliberately to be the most annoying creatures on the entire planet. And I love Ginger Rogers, too! She's wonderful! And she's good here, it's just that her character drives me batty. And fortunately, her character isn't half as annoying as Pat Crowley's name-changing up-and-coming actress, whose very voice drove me up the wall. Both women change into different, nicer people at the end, their "true" selves, I suppose, but by then, it's too late. The movie's over.

And oddly, as annoying as the women are, the two lead male characters (Paul Douglas and William Holden) are the exact opposite. They're both nice and charming and even funny in some moments. Particularly Paul Douglas, who plays Ginger Roger's ex-husband. He's a complete sweetheart, as he puts up with everything else. For one thing, they're both honest about things and the women aren't. I just don't get it. I don't get what this movie's really trying to be about or what it's trying to say. I failed to see the humor (not surprising, really, given how not into comedies I am).

However, Paul Douglas? His character almost saves the picture, and he and Ginger Rogers are very natural and delightful together -- when her character stops being the vain actress. I love their scene at the airport, where she comes to see him off. William Holden is as handsome as ever, but he simply doesn't get much to do here.


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