tek's rating: ½

The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer
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Unbelievably, there was no entry for this movie on Wikipedia until I started one in 2005 (check the history- I'm teknomage there). Of course, other people have done lots of revisions of that entry since I started it, which is nice. Anyway, I've always thought this movie was quite funny and charming, even if its premise is obviously ludicrous. There are a few bits I often think of fondly ("You remind me of a man..."; "L'amour, my friend, l'amour!") But, on to the plot:

Judge Margaret Turner (Myrna Loy) is the legal guardian of her 17-year-old sister, Susan (Shirley Temple). Richard Nugent (Cary Grant) is an artist who we first meet as a defendant in Margaret's courtroom, having been involved in a bar fight. Later, he gives a lecture about art at Susan's high school (to the thunderous applause of the female students), and Susan falls for him. She claims to want to interview him for the school paper, but clearly she just wants to get to know him better. She also asks if he thinks she'd make a good model, and he just says whatever he can to politely excuse himself. Susan, of course, is entirely encouraged, and later (after an argument about him with her sister) goes to his apartment to pose for him. While waiting for him to return home, she falls asleep on his couch, and he doesn't see her when he first arrives. After he changes into a robe, fixes himself a drink, and sits down to read, she wakes up, and he has barely a moment to be startled by her presence, before the authorities begin pounding on his door. Cut to a scene of Richard sitting in a jail cell, talking to his lawyer.

However, Margaret and Susan's uncle, Dr. Matt Beemish (court psychiatrist), has a plan to help both Richard and Susan. He believes Richard is an innocent bystander, and wants Susan to get over her crush. (He also, secretly, believes Richard would make a good husband for Margaret, though of course he doesn't say this to anyone.) Beemish presents his plan to Margaret, Assistant District Attorney Tommy Chamberlain (Margaret's boyfriend, who Richard had punched in the course of his arrest), Richard's lawyer, and the judge who would have tried Richard's case. They all agreed to the plan, in which charges would be dropped against Richard if he agreed to date Susan until her infatuation with him wore off. He doesn't like this plan, but facing the possibility of 20 years in prison should he lose the case, he hasn't much choice but to agree. While there had heretofore been plenty of amusing nuggets in the film, it is at this point that hilarity truly begins to ensue.

At first, Richard tries to get Susan back together with her ex-boyfriend, Jerry White, but Jerry decides to be mature about the situation and accept Susan and Richard's relationship, and be friends with them both. Eventually Richard throws himself into the pretense whole-heartedly, in the hopes, chiefly, of upsetting Margaret and Susan's great-uncle, Judge Thaddeus Turner. Of course, he also upsets Tommy, who's more worried about Richard stealing Margaret than in the fake relationship with Susan. Which is, of course, justified, as eventually Richard and Margaret do begin to fall for each other, and everything becomes more complicated. Though of course, neither of them wants to admit their feelings. But that's okay, because Uncle Matt always has a plan. In the end, he explains to Susan why her infatuation with Richard is childish and can't work out (though conveniently, we don't get to hear this entire conversation, as it's hard to imagine what he could have said to dissuade the headstrong girl). He also sets in motion a plan to make sure Margaret and Richard meet again, and to keep Tommy from coming between them....

And, that's about all I want to say. But it really is a great movie, you totally gotta see it sometime...

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