So Richard Nugent (Grant) is some kind of artist who has a tendency to get into trouble when he goes out drinking. In the beginning of the film, we see Nugent in court with some nightclub hussies, a bouncer and his lawyer, sorting out a bar room brawl. Presiding over this case is Judge Margaret Turner (Loy), smooth operator, but a little too uptight. She could use a little Dick Nugent.
|The Honorable Judge Turner|
Later that day, RN gives a lecture at the local high school where he meets Susan Turner (Temple), Judge Turner's orphan baby sister. Though she's got a steady her own age, Jerry White, Susan is enamored with Nugent, doing everything in her power to get him alone. He does everything in his power to get her to leave him alone, especially after he finds out that she is the Judge's sister. Eventually she invites herself into his apartment while he's not there, falls asleep while waiting for him, and then the whole thing turns into Lolita. The Judge dies while hysterically running out into traffic and then Nugent takes the young Susan on a nice long road trip during which he licks her eyeball to dislodge an eyelash.
Just kidding. Susan's family is pretty pissed about it and ready to charge Richard with endangering a minor and god knows what else. But then their meddlesome uncle, whose name I can't recall so we'll call him Uncle Psychologist steps in. He realizes that Richard is innocent and that his going to jail will only make a martyr of him in Susan's eyes. He suggests they date, gets Judge Turner into the idea and so the hilarity begins. Nugent is dragged along on some juvenile dates with Susan. It's fun to watch Cary Grant have an ice cream soda with a bunch of teenagers after a basketball game. Eventually, he figures out the way to drop Susan is to imitate a teenage boy. They have this charming exchange:
Hey! You remind me of a man.
Man with the power.
Power of hoodoo.
Remind me of a man.
And so on....
And we thought the never ending song was clever.
The immature schtick backfires. Susan loves it. Nugent takes Susan and her family to a community picnic in Jerry's jalopy. He signs up for a bunch of competitions, sack races and such and loses every single one to Judge Turner's love interest, Tommy Chamberlain (Douchebag.) (played by Rudy Vallee) Except for the last event, an obstacle course, where Susan bribes Jerry and the HS basketball team to throw the race so that Nugent wins. That part is weird because Jerry and the team weren't even at the picnic and I can't figure out how she orchestrated that without a cell phone. I suppose it will remain a mystery.
At the end of the day, Margaret Turner realizes that Nugent has been made a fool of long enough and decides to go on a date with him to let him off the hook. He takes her to his favorite nightclub where they drink and dance and totally forget to talk about the Susan problem. There, they run into one of the hussies from the beginning of the movie who behaves obnoxiously. And then Susan shows up and catches her sister out on a date with her man. "A woman scorned is a fury!" she says. (lulz) And then Jerry shows up and tells Susan he's been drafted. And then craziness happens, characteristic of a screwball comedy and then everyone dukes it out and leaves Richard Nugent with the tab.
More stuff happens, and then Meddlesome Uncle Psychologist gets involved with Margaret's love life, somehow manages to get Richard and both sisters on a plane to Africa. Oh Humbert Humbert you sly old fox.
No. Just kidding again. The real ending is pretty obvious.
Besides the brilliant casting, this is a fun movie. It gives a good glimpse into the young lives of the Silent Generation, who apparently had clever sayings like, "Mellow Greetings, Yookie Dookie!" and "I don't dig ya chick!" and "I'm an old pepper shaker." I have no idea what any of that means, but apparently they are fun things to say if you're trying to freak out old people.