Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Chick flicks for guys, part 2

DVD Cover for The Miracle of Morgan's Creek

Our second "chick flick" for guys to rent to watch with their significant other on Valentine's Day is The Miracle of Morgan's Creek. This wild comedy, directed by that master of wilde comedy, Preston Sturges, stars Betty Hutton as a young woman in small-town Middle America during World War II with the name of Trudy Kockenlocker. One night, there's a dance in honor of soldiers departing for the war, so Trudy defies her father's orders and goes to the dance. At the dance, she parties as hard as the young do today -- with the predictable result that she gets drunk. But worse, she gets so drunk that she marries one of the soldiers -- and is completely unable to remember the name of the man she married. Matters go from bad to worse when she finds out that she also got knocked up on her wedding night.

Enter Trudy's partially-serious boyfriend Norval Jones (played by Eddie Bracken). When Trudy finds out she's pregnant, she's got to have somebody appear to be the actual husband, and Norval Jones is just the man! There's even a scene of Jones and Trudy's father (veteran character actor William Demarest) on the front porch, complete with Mr. Kockenlocker cleaning his shotgun! The only thing is, father doesn't know daughter is already married -- and pregnant, and daughter wants her marriage to Jones to be legitimate, so she has to go through the process of getting an annulment, and then getting legitimately married to Jones. Of course, everything that can go wrong does. There's accusations of kidnapping, a jailbreak, pratfalls galore, and an ending that, while improbable, seems to fit in with the movie.

It's a romantic comedy that can appeal to both women and men, and the entire cast puts in excellent performances: Betty Hutton as the wild Trudy; Bracken as her nebbish, put-upon boyfriend; Demarest as the father; and Diana Lynn as Trudy's kid sister, who seems surprisingly knowledgeable about the world for a teenager.

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