Tuesday, February 1, 2011
CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT
(August 1945, U.S.)
A Christmas movie released in August??? I guess that makes about as much sense as my discussing a Christmas film in February. Although CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT is officially labeled as a Christmas movie, it hardly brings about any warm feelings of joy and spirit that Charles Dickens or Frank Capra might. What it DOES do is prove that Christmas time can serve as good a setting for a screwball comedy as any other set of circumstances. The difference here is that you get the pleasure of actors like Barbara Stanwyk, Sydney Greenstreet and S.Z. Sakall (the last two were in CASABLANCA!) as opposed to watching people like Ben Affleck (SURVIVING CHRISTMAS) or Reece Witherspoon (FOUR CHRISTMASES) do Christmas movies.
(I think I've said the word "Christmas" more times in just one paragraph than I have for the past year!).
So, in this film, Barbara Stanwyk plays a post-World War II Martha Stewart-type character who helps to sell magazines by writing about her life on a farm in Connecticut with her husband and baby. She is a model of domesticity, a gourmet cook and the idol of many American housewifes. Trouble is, she's also a big fake. She lives in New York City, she's not married, she has no children, she can't cook to save her life, and her own employer has no idea about any of it. Like I said, it's all to increase magazine circulation and get her a much needed raise for that mink coat she desperately desires. That's all fine and dandy until she's sucked into a magazine public relations ploy to entertain a soldier for the Christmas holiday who survived many days at sea without food after a U-Boat attack on his ship. The poor many hasn't had a decent meal in weeks and longs for an old fashioned Christmas...in Connecticut. Uh-oh, trouble! Faster than you can say classic-episode-of-I-LOVE-LUCY-or-THREE'S-COMPANY, everybody involved has to put on the right scenario in order to satisfy the desires and interests of the soldier, the potential-husband-to-be, the judge, the cook, the housekeeper and the big boss who's been clueless the entire time. But in the end, of course, everything will turn out fine and the two people we love the most in the film will fall in love and get married.
Confused yet? Don't worry. It's all in good fun with the snowy background of Christmas and the beauty of Connecticut to keep you warm and cozy.
Favorite line or dialogue:
Felix Bassenak (speaking with an accent and referring to flapjacks): "Watch now. I show you how to flip-flop the flop-flips."