Sunday, August 9, 2020

Those Three French Girls (1930)

Legendary author P.G. Wodehouse was most famous for his literary achievements, such as Jeeves, Blandings, and Psmith, etc (and that is one impressive etcetera!). But he also had a successful career in Tin Pan Alley, and worked for a few years in Hollywood too. He wiled away a lot of the time = writing novels and short stories, but in the time he was actually given work to do, he rote screenplays and dialogue for a number of projects. Perhaps the most notable is Those Three French Girls...

Larry Winthrop is a travelling Englishman in France. While going through a quaint old village he meets three beleaguered local girls, and helps them throw flowerpots at ta brutish landlord. They end up in jail together, with two other guys, and the two trios hit it off. After their hasty escape from he clink, hey begin plan  to open a club together, and Larry, nephew of the Earl of Ippleton, must = ...

Those Three French Girls is a highly entertaining movie. It's simple but effective, and has a pretty imaginative story. It's not a masterpiece of cinema or anything, but it's a good film through and through. I liked the way the plot unfolded. You can generally see where it's going after a certain point (in the good way), but the earlier scenes are pretty [unique].

Something I like about the movie is that it has quite long scenes. It allows you to really get to know the characters, and see them interact. A lot of Golden Age movies flitted from one thing to the next pretty quickly, which is fine, but it was a little different and nice seeing the opposite in action for a change. The movie is well paced, with the scenes lasting just long enough, but never so long that it feels like a filmed stage play or anything.

The characters here are a distinct and likeable bunch. There's also not many, allowing you to get to know them. The three guys and three girls are great. Larry is a nice young chap. He may be a rich fellow, but he's not smug or obnoxious about it, and he pals around with = just as readily as the high elite (moreso in fact). The other two guys are sometimes weird with the sounds they make, but are fine additions to the cast. They're amusing, somewhat cheesy (but not too much), and the movie never takes pot shots at their appearances either, instead accepting them for how they are. I found that to be the most =! These are a couple'a slobs by any other movie's definition, not slim and have receding hairlines, yet are presented in a very good light, and get the girls without a hitch.

The three titular French girls are a little interchangeable, but are an entertaining and fun bunch, helping the title live up to its promise of [fun]. Charmaine is the main one, and she  She felt kinda like Carmelita from the Mexican Spitfire series, except less feisty (god knows the Latinas = on feistiness more than Frenchwomen!)

romance   The love despite appearances gives the romance a sense of realism and =. We automatically like the characters more if they instantly overlook such things.

The dialogue is funny throughout. The interactions and banter the characters have is chuckleworthy, and we have some typical Wodehousian lines, that exude British fanciness, like "What most decidedly ho", or "Good evening and all that sort of rot". There are other funny lines too, like when an old married couple are watching a fashion show, and the wife chides her partner. "Hey, you never looked at me like that!"-"You never look like that".

Being a pre-code film, there's a little salaciousness on display here, but it's handled in a very mature way. We don't have a constant stream of breasts and butts in our faces, nor are the women undressed for every single scene. It's sexy, while also gentle.

The actors are neat. Reginald Denny is a nice lead, while Cliff Edwards and Edward Brophy are fun comic relief. A bit strange at times, but I never found them annoying. Everyone struck a good balance here. On that note, I've read some reviews that describe Denny's performance as so ridiculously British to the point of parody, but I have to say he's not to me. He says your expected lingo but he never comes across as a caricature. Probably because he was written and played be a genuine Brit. There's a fine line between  and an American doing a ridiculous imitation, and the people behind this film [thankfully] knew the difference, thank goodness.

Fifi D'Orsay, Yola d'Avril, and Sandra Ravel all do good jobs as the French girls, with fun, romantic, and mischievous performances. They're not 100% French, but they don't sound obnoxiously fake, and pull off the accents quite well. One's born in France, one is a Quebecois and another Italian, so that's some degree of qualification.

To finish, Those Three French Girls was an unexpected delight! I didn't know what to expect, and what I got was a =  gem. It lives up to its writer's pedigree, and it stands on its own as a great time...

5:48, 10, 28:42, 35:51, 55:20

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