review for It Started With Eve on AllMovie

It Started With Eve (1941)
by Craig Butler review

It Started With Eve has one of those premises that modern audiences will most likely find too ridiculous, but for those willing to accept it, Eve is more than decent fun. The movie falls short of being any more than that, largely because the screenplay is competent when it needs to be brilliant. Still, there's a lot to be said for competence, and if the dialogue for Eve doesn't sparkle and bubble, it more than gets the job done. Henry Koster's direction is also fine -- not great, but more than adequate, making Eve a pleasant diversion. It helps that Eve has two such charming stars as Deanna Durbin and Robert Cummings, who also share a valuable rapport. Durbin, of course, is in fine voice, but her "straight" performance is even more impressive. Cummings is an expert at this kind of thing, and he adds some nice touches to almost all of his scenes. Even better is a hard-to-recognize Charles Laughton, who keeps his excessive tendencies very much in check and turns in a delightful turn that is captivating without even approaching over-the-top. It's a lovely job from an incredibly talented actor who too often let his worst impulses mar his performances.