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Movie Critique - I Love You Again

Stars: 5 / 5

Recommendation: A delightful comedy from Powell and Loy with some silliness all around leaving you splitting with laughter. I can watch this film again and again and again!

I Love You Again is a 1940 American comedy film released by MGM, directed by W. S. Van Dyke and produced by Lawrence Weingarten. It stars William Powell, Myrna Loy, Frank McHugh and Edmund Lowe in the lead cast among others. It is based on the 1937 novel of the same name by Octavus Roy Cohen.

Stingy and dull businessman Lawrence "Larry" Wilson (portrayed by William Powell) gets hit on his head while on a cruise ship, only to wake up to realize he was a conman named George Carey. Then he  meets Kay (portrayed by Myrna Loy), his wife and that they are in process of being divorced. And chaos erupts in their lives when his "George" wants to con people, while his "Larry" falls in love with Kay all over again for the second time.

William Powell, Myrna Loy and W. S. Van Dyke were collaborators for the Thin Man series films too. Also Myrna Loy and William Powell starred together in a total of fourteen films including the Thin Man films, and this is the ninth of the lot. Their collaboration began with the 1934 Manhattan Melodrama.

Edmund Lowe plays the part of Duke Sheldon in the film. Incidentally both Lowe and William Powell have played the role of Philo Vance in separate films. I posted a few months ago about the 1933 American pre-Code mystery film The Kennel Murder Case which had Philo Vance played by Powell. 

The chemistry between Powell and Loy is phenomenal even if they are a couple about to break their marriage. The comic banter between them is as usual charming, and similar to what I have seen in their Thin Man films. 

Original Story was written by Leon Gordon and Maurine Watkins, that they based on the novel by Cohen. But the Screenplay for the film was provided by Charles Lederer, George Oppenheimer and Harry Kurnitz. 

Love increases between two people when amnesia is involved, a plot-line that normally seen in fantasy fictions, executed charmingly by the filmmakers. A delightful comedy from Powell and Loy with some silliness all around leaving you splitting with laughter. I can watch this film again and again and again!

Spoiler Alerts:

1) Movie Trivia:

a. The film was adapted to radio for a 60-minute broadcast twice by Lux Radio Theater - first on June 30, 1941 with Cary Grant and Myrna Loy (reprising her role as Kay), Frank McHugh also reprises his role; and second on March 19, 1948 with William Powell reprising his role along-side Ann Southern.

b. The Screen Guild Theater also adapted the film to radio for a 30-minute broadcast - first on January 7, 1944 with William Powell reprising his role, co-starred by Palette Goddard; and second on January 26, 1950 with Powell reprising his role again along-side Ruth Hussey.

c. Note two members from the Our Gang film series - Carl 'Alfalfa' Switzer (portraying as Leonard Harkspur Jr.) and Robert Blake (portraying as Edward Littlejohn Jr.) - in this film. The Our Gang film series were a series of American comedy short films released between 1922 and 1944.

d. Check out the poster of the 1940 American technicolor film Northwest Passage behind Larry and the boy rangers.

2) Grammatical / Historical / Location / Character Errors:

a. When Larry wakes up after being hit on his head on the cruise ship, he remembers his old life as George Carey with the last thing he remembered being that he was rushing to place a bet in the year 1931, nine years ago from when this film was set. So when he meets Kay in New York, he shouldn’t have remembered any of the cruise journey or how long it had taken. Yet he comments to Kay "eighteen days alone on a boat is certainly a long time to be alone on a boat for eighteen days". And also that he could remember his usual hotel at New York that he stays in.

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