21
October
2011

The Lady Eve (1941)0

                    A screwball romantic comedy that deals with deception in a light hearted manner. Barbara Stanwyck is the flirty Jean, and Henry Fonda is the hopeless romantic Charles (Hopsie). Two of them on screen are a delight to watch as they fall for one another. However, their love is cut short when Hopsie discovers Jean’s intention was to use him for his wealth. Heartbroken since she was truley in love with him, and only continued with the ploy for his money because of her father, Jean decides to get back at him by taking a false identity as a high class english women named Eve. Eve manages to get Hopsie to marry her but then loses him on their wedding night when she babbles about her many sexual encounters. Upset and leaving off without settling a divorce, Hopsie embarks on another boat trip where he coincidently meets up with Jean again. The film ends with them rekindling their love for one another, as Hopsie admits to adultry because of his marriage  while Jean admittedly states “so am I,” signifying that they already are married.

With the lovers ongoing physical comedy and funny dialogue, it makes it enjoyable to watch those two onscreen. As much as I felt how Jean was portrayed as a manipulative and corruptive snake, I felt sympathetic toward her character since she was not all in on the ploy to get Hopsie as her father was, which shows her as a soft romantic as much as she is a temptress. Sturges shows how these characters go through turmoil within their romance, but undermines it as he uses slapstick comedy and smart wit as a way of their romance.

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