Inspired by an incident in his own life, Garson Kanin's screenplay for It Should Happen to You is fast and funny, and extremely well structured. The plot elements all line up exactly as they inevitably should, and there's no fat on the story anywhere -- it's lean and tight. Often films like this run the danger of feeling mechanical or predicatble, but It Should Happen is refreshing and delightful. Director George Cukor deserves a lot of the credit, of course; his expert hand keeps things moving swiftly and there's a wonderful look to it -- nothing that leaps out at the viewer, but a pleasing, consistent visual quality that somehow seems the essence of 1950s New York-set romantic comedies. The film's biggest assets, however, are its stars. Judy Holliday has never been more appealing, and her considerable comedic talents are used to full effect here. She has a marvelous catch in her voice, one that always comes three seconds before or two-and-a-half words after you expect it to, as if her mind were always racing slightly ahead or falling slightly behind her words and has to rein itself in. And those big dark eyes reveal so much, although they're furtive -- they don't want to let either the viewer or herself learn too much too soon. Jack Lemmon is a perfect foil for her; his performance is so smooth and assured that it's difficult to believe this is his debut. The two are a perfect fit, and their impromptu "Let's Fall in Love" is so natural it's entrancing. Even Peter Lawford is good. It Should Happen lacks weight, but it's a delectable little treat.
by Craig Butler review