Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Movie Review: Mr. and Mrs. Smith (1941)

Mr. and Mrs. Smith is one of Alfred Hitchcock's rare forays into the comedy genre.[1][2] It details the turmoil a couple goes through in the aftermath of learning that their marriage license (issued in Idaho, no less) wasn't valid. The description at Netflix says:
After three years of highs and lows in a mercurial nuptial, the two discover they aren't truly married after all. David hesitates sealing the deal for real, which drives Ann to the arms of the straight-laced Jeff. Is a happily-ever-after not meant to be?[3]
Thus it was with some surprise that the movie turned out to be quite the opposite: Ann hesitates to seal the deal, hoping, instead to "trade in for a better model". The remainder of the film is about David trying to get back into Ann's good graces.

My verdict: It is inevitable that when confronted with relationship advice, it is bad advice. And the protagonist inevitably takes it. But I suppose without bad advice from idiot friends or getting stuck in outlandish and completely inescapable compromising situations [4], that the romantic comedy genre wouldn't exist at all. Nonetheless, David takes some bad advice and after that's gone sour, manages to make a general nuisance of himself. He really becomes quite pathetic. The ending didn't really make sense, either. After everything else David tried, why did pushing Ann down into a chair and taking off his tie change her mind? Hitchcock certainly produced better films than this one.


[1] The only other that I'm aware of is The Trouble with Harry.

[2] It is a screwball comedy and is unrelated to the 2005 film, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

[3] See

[4] These also require that their true loved one, who catches them in the compromising situation, will immediately and unbendingly refuse to communicate about what they just saw.

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