Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Penny Serenade (1941)

Four stars, and I'm not sure if I can see it again. At least not for a while. It is just too sad.

I really liked the way the movie was set up. Julie (Irene Dunne) is about to walk away from her failing marriage to Roger (Cary Grant). She picks up an album they have made of records that have been meaningful through the years and begins to play the first one... It's the song that was playing the day they met. Julie was working in the listening booth at a record store. After seeing her through the window, Roger came in and picked out a giant stack of records for her to play for him in the booth. He ended up buying most of them (even though he doesn't own a phonograph) and walked her home. Their meeting is possibly the definition of a meet cute. Most of the movie is told through flash backs like this one... Julie puts a new record on the phonograph, and we flash back to another scene from their relationship as they date, get married, move to Japan, get pregnant, have a miscarriage in an earthquake, buy a struggling little newspaper back in the states, finally adopt a baby, almost have to give the baby up...

The fact that I sometimes wonder if I'm living my life to a soundtrack made me really excited about the concept of this film, and of course Cary Grant and Irene Dunne continue to be amazing together, but - WARNING - The adoption is NOT the happy ending you would like it to be! I think it is important to know this before watching the movie. If I hadn't read the synopsis carefully and known where things were heading, I would not have survived the movie.

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