Thursday, December 24, 2015

Movie Review: "Christmas in Connecticut" (1945)

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Movie"Christmas in Connecticut"
Director: Peter Godfrey
Year: 1945
Rating: UR
Running Time: 1 hour, 42 minutes

Elizabeth Lane (Barbara Stanwyck) is a writer for a magazine that authors articles and recipes about her life as a mother and housewife on her farm in Connecticut. In reality, she is a single woman living in a small New York apartment and doesn't even know how to cook. When the magazine's owner asks her to host Christmas dinner for himself and a war veteran, Elizabeth has to fabricate an elaborate ruse and possible even get married to an architect who has been pinning for her in order to hide that her articles are actually works of fiction. 

"Christmas in Connecticut" is a zany romantic comedy that is another more circumstantial Christmas movie. A soldier named Jefferson Jones, played by Dennis Morgan, after 18 days stranded at sea, is forced onto a liquid diet. To get solid food, he makes nice and "goes all the way" with a nurse named Mary Lee, played by Joyce Compton, so she will give him a steak. After recovering, he tries to break it off by saying he's not the family type. To show him how great a nice home and family are, she writes to a magazine owner named Alexander Yardley, played by Sydney Greenstreet, and asks him to have one of his writers, Elizabeth Lane, played by Barbara Stanwyck, a woman who writes about her family life at a farm in Connecticut, to have Jefferson over for Christmas dinner. There is just one problem: Elizabeth isn't married and lives in a New York apartment, not a farm in Connecticut, but her overbearing boss won't take 'no' for an answer and of course, chaos ensues. An architect named John Sloan has proposed to Elizabeth multiple times in the past and now the opportunity has come for him to save her, provided she marry him, because, you know, desperate obligation is a great way to start a marriage, are we right? Once everyone arrives at John's farm in Connecticut, a lot of silliness goes on as John and Elizabeth secretly try to get married but are constantly interrupted or off-put by the notion. Elizabeth also borrows a baby that she passes off as her own, but halfway through the ordeal, she has to switch it for another child with different hair color and gender, which starts to certainly raise suspicion. She also has hide the fact she can't cook while a giant dinner is made. The main meat of this story involved the romantic aspect between Elizabeth and Jefferson, who begin to fall for each other despite Jefferson thinking she is married to John. A lot of humorous banter about infidelity happens between them, and as we watch these older movies more frequently, we find that infidelity is a common theme to be joked about or done. Overall, the acting is pretty good in this film and it is quite charming when it wants to be. Sydney Greenstreet gets a couple of great lines in there with a zing-zang-zoom attached to his hearty voice. Barbara Stanwyck is excellent and has a fluffy personality to go along with her downfalls. There are some genuinely funny moments that still make us laugh even though it's a 60+ years old flick. It's a pretty good holiday movie, but not likely one we'll revisit anytime soon since the majority of it is more romcom than holiday fare.

My Rating: 7/10
BigJ's Rating: 6.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 88%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?
One year ago, we were watching: "Joyeux Noel"

Two years ago, we were watching: "It's A Wonderful Life"

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