Boy Meets Girl (1938)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Parody/Spoof, Satire, Screwball Comedy, Showbiz Comedy  |   Release Date - Aug 27, 1938 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 86 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

"Rapid fire" might have been coined with Boy Meets Girl in mind, at least whenever James Cagney and Pat O'Brien are on the scene. The dialogue flies so fast and furious at these times that it becomes a triumph just to keep up with what is being said. If all this speed was in the service of a first-class screwball comedy script, Boy would have been a gem to rival classics like His Girl Friday or Bringing Up Baby. Unfortunately, while it's a very enjoyable movie, Boy just doesn't belong in that pantheon. The jokes simply aren't as funny, the humor overall is more scattershot, the plotting isn't sufficiently sharp and focused, and even the satire doesn't cut quite as deeply as it thinks it does. Cagney and O'Brien are aces, of course, a pair of dynamos always on the edge of exploding, and Ralph Bellamy is at his befuddled best. Marie Wilson has a certain amount of charm, although her voice gets quite annoying as the film progresses. Lloyd Bacon's direction keeps things moving, although occasionally things get a bit too frenetic, but he handles the satirical moments with a pleasing insider's view. If Boy ends up generating a lot of noise over very little, it's still entertaining.