Girl Trouble DVD Review: Romantic Comedy Lite

Girl Crazy is an extremely silly romantic comedy, but offers fast-paced fun.
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Hollywood churned out romantic comedies by the dozens in the 1930s and 1940s. Wacky heiresses, bumbling suitors, and their faithful sidekicks made up most of the casts, along with some situational impediments to romance until the final few minutes. 1942's Girl Trouble, starring Joan Bennett and Don Ameche, is one of the genre's lighter, fluffier entries, but it is good fun all the same.

Bennett stars as socialite June Delaney, who is informed in the first few moments of the film that she is currently broke. The stylish young woman isn't exactly thrilled at the news, and is reluctant to give up her fabulous, white-on-white apartment. Her solution? To rent it out for a huge price. The offer attracts wealthy Venezuelan Pedro Sullivan (Ameche), who is in town to secure a bank loan to facilitate a deal with a local industrialist to purchase rubber from his father's business. When Pedro arrives at the apartment and sees the lovely June wearing an apron, he assumes that she is the maid, and as screwball comedies require, June doesn't correct his false impression.

Pedro may be unimpressed with June's work ethic, as she picks up the wrong suit from the cleaners, and doesn't seem to spend much time dusting or mopping, doing anything else, but he is no snob, and quickly proceeds to fall in love with her. Complications arrive in the form of a trouble-making friend of June's (Helene Reynolds), and a tire mogul, Mr. Flint (Frank Craven), who wants to cut corners and use a rubber substitute instead of Pedro's rubber in his tires. Film buffs will recognize Billie Burke, Glinda the Good Witch from The Wizard of Oz, in a small but amusing role as June's daffy friend Mrs. Rowland.

As with other classics from Fox Cinema Archives, the 81-minute film is available on DVD on-demand. Girl Crazy, shown in 4:3 full-frame presentation, doesn't have any extras, apart from scene navigation. The transfer to DVD is good, but not as super-sharp as high-definition television viewers may be accustomed to. Ameche and Bennett have a nice, bickering chemistry. It's all extremely silly, but fast-paced fun.

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