Love Me Tonight (1932)

Film Review

LOVE ME TONIGHT

Release Date: 18 August, 1932

Studio: Paramount

Director: Rouben Mamoulian

Starring: Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald

Synopsis

Viscount Gilbert deVareze has not paid Maurice, his Parisian tailor, for his new suits, and Maurice follows him to his chateau to collect. The viscount introduces Maurice to his family as his friend Baron Courtelin. The viscount's family includes his uncle, Duke d'Artelines, Princess Jeanette, Countess Valentine, three spinster aunts, Count de Savignac, who is attempting to woo Princess Jeanette. Lovely Princess Jeanette was married at age 16 to an elderly nobleman and widowed at age 19. Now a nubile age 22, she has been suffering from fainting spells. Her concerned family fears she has a dreadful disease, but her doctor says she's not wasting, just wasted. The fake baron is young and appealing, and, although he is not a nobleman, he can supply the remedy for the princess' aliment, if she will accept him.

Discussion

This film is a great musical comedy; it has brilliant comedy, beautiful music, and terrific actors. The score by Rogers and Hart is outstanding, including Love Me Tonight, Isn't it Romantic, and Mimi. Chevalier had a small acting and singing range, but within that range he was marvelous, as shown here. Jeanette MacDonald, who displays her figure in lingerie, ball gowns, and riding outfits, looks beautiful and sings delightfully. Myrna Loy, Charlie Ruggles, and Charles Butterworth have some funny, and suggestive, lines of dialogue. Loy, especially, is a lot of fun as a man-crazy countess. When asked if she is interested in anything besides men, she replies yes, "schoolboys." Rouben Mamoulian directed both films and Broadway plays (such as Oklahoma, Carousel). He directed a relatively few films (17 between 1929 and 1948). This film is one of his major achievements.