Madeline Stowe TCM Guest ProgrammerA few nights ago, TMC guest programmer Madeleine Stowe pulled me in to the 1943 picture staring Jean Arthur, Joel McCrea, and Charles Coburn, The More the Merrier. Her enthusiasm for the film and vivid descriptions intrigued me. She and Robert Osborne set it up beautifully. So with the help of the DVR, between baths, loads of laundry, and cleaning, I watched it.

A scandalous romantic comedy about roomers and rumors.

A scandalous romantic comedy about roomers and rumors.
1 Oscar and 5 Nominations

Set in Washington, DC during the WWII housing shortage, this fun-loving comedy sucked me in. The plot was simple and predictable, the whit beautifully played, and the comedy classic. The performance by Charles Coburn as Mr. Dingle was exceptional and propelled the plot. It’s no wonder he won the Oscar for it! Jean Arthur and Joel McCrea as Connie and Joe lit up the screen together–Joe with his animal magnetism and Connie with her unwilling restraint. Their passion, showcased on the steps of their shared apartment, is as Madeleine Stowe described it, “one of the most erotic scenes ever filmed.” I’m not so sure about that because she and Daniel Day Lewis did a pretty good job in The Last of the Mohicans. With that said, it is a pretty good scene. The way McCrea’s hands move and caress is remarkable and would be very difficult to resist, engaged or not, and particularly if engaged to Mr. Pendergast.

The entire film is delightful to watch! I highly recommend it! Five Stars!!!!!

Arthur, Coburn, and McCrea

Arthur, Coburn, and McCrea

So, I spent 104 minutes of my life watching this. Was I just entertained? Or did I learn anything? Yes and yes.

Early in the film, Dingle is talking to Connie through the paper thin walls of the apartment.

“Do you keep a diary, Miss Milligan?”

 She closes her diary and tucks it under the blanket. “No, I don’t; of course not. Why do you ask?”

“There are two types of people. Those who don’t do what they want to do, so they write down in a diary about what they haven’t done. And those who are too busy to write about it because they are out doing it.”

So which type am I? Which type are you?

Are we the writers? Or the doers?

May we do good in the world,

instead of just thinking about it!


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