5.17.2011

Come Live With Me (1941)


Starring James Stewart (JIMMY STEWART!!!!!!!!!!!) and Hedy Lamarr.


Hedy is an Austrian refugee whose father was 'liquidated' for disagreeing with the Nazis (quite depressing, if you think about it). She has come to America to stay and unfortunately, fallen in love with a married publisher (Ian Hunter). Equally unfortunate is the fact that Hedy's passport has run out and she is due to be deported. The officer gives her one week to marry an American citizen, or she will have to leave the country.



Well, when she meets down-on-his-luck Jimmy Stewart, who coincidentally happens to be a writer, she decides he's the perfect one. You can see where the plot is going from here. ;) They strike a deal: she gets a marriage of convenience, and he gets a weekly check to keep his rent paid. Then her publisher boyfriend decides to divorce his wife so he can marry Hedy. Romantic complications ensue.


Reviews for this film are almost universally mediocre. Many expected more from the two brightest stars of 1941. I thought it was a charming little romantic story, myself. I think the plot lacked a bit but I was so enchanted by Hedy Lamarr I didn't really notice it. This is the first film of hers I've seen and I am instantly a fan! She is so gorgeous and lovely, and she has such a cultured accent. I love her character in this film. So ladylike, classy, elegant and gorgeous, intelligent and yes, feisty when the occasion calls for it! And her hairstyles are beautiful! Also, as an aside, Jimmy's grandmother in the film is absolutely hilarious! A definitive scene-stealer. I have no idea what that actress's name was; I'm sure she wasn't well-known. Pity.



Getting back to the plot here: I think, compared to another romantic comedy such as, say, Vivacious Lady (another James Stewart vehicle, this time with Ginger Rogers), Come Live With Me is found definitely lacking. Jimmy and Hedy aren't together for much of the film, which is disappointing. Ian Hunter's character, after seeing him more than necessary in the beginning of the picture, fades away into almost-obscurity by the second act. Rather inconsistent. But the script is witty, Hedy is absolutely charming, Jimmy is his most adorable self, and when the two are together the scenes are phenomenal! So romantic....this is definitely one of my new favorites.

You can watch this film on YouTube.
Come Live With Me is also available on DVD from the Warner Bros. Archive.
The title of the film is taken from a poem by Christopher Marlowe.
Listen to a Ray Charles song of the same name.

4 comments:

  1. Three years ago, my daughter and I were on a beach vacation...a way to celebrate her graduation from high school. It was rainy and cold (Oregon coast in June), so we spent most of our time in the hotel watching TCM. One of the movies they showed that week was "Come Live with Me." We LOVED it. So, we kept waiting and waiting for TCM to show it again so we could record it. We definitely wanted to own that one. Finally, last year, they did, so now it's part of our movie collection. Totally adorable.

    Great review.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love Jimmy and Hedy (so gorgeous) and can't wait to see this. Thanks for the YouTube link!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Patti: What a lovely memory! Thank you for sharing. :)

    Audrey: You're welcome! It's become one of my favorites now.

    Anita: Thank you! :)

    ReplyDelete