Lucky Partners (1940)

Genres - Comedy, Romance  |   Sub-Genres - Farce, Parody/Spoof  |   Run Time - 102 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Any film that features Ronald Colman and Ginger Rogers in a lighthearted romance ought to turn out better than Lucky Partners, an innocuous but hardly memorable little time filler. Of course, really good frivolous comedies are much harder to pull off than they look. Partners has a ridiculous premise, but it's also the kind of premise that in the right, deft hands could turn into charming, captivating trifle. Unfortunately, Partners doesn't have the right hands, in either the directing or the writing. Lewis Milestone, of course, directed some truly fine pictures, but his forte really wasn't a bonbon like this, and he doesn't bring the appropriate sense of style to the material; more crucially, he doesn't seem to really BELIEVE in the story, and that's much more of a problem. For their part, the writers don't seem to know exactly what kind of story they want to tell, with the result that the film switches gears rather too often and its parts don't fit together. That leaves Colman and Rogers and "fifth wheel" Jack Carson to carry the picture, and they do an admirable job. Colman and Rogers don't have a great deal of chemistry, but they have panache and know-how to spare, and Carson, along with reliable Spring Byington, make the most of what they have. It's just too bad that nobody had more to work with.