The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (1947)

Genres - Comedy, Romance  |   Sub-Genres - Screwball Comedy, Farce, Romantic Comedy, Slapstick  |   Release Date - Jul 24, 1947 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 95 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Although quite dated in some ways, The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer is a very enjoyable little farce. The biggest drawback to modern audiences is, unfortunately, its very premise: that an adult man would be encouraged to date a teenage girl -- and the girl's sister, yet. The situation nowadays comes across as rather smarmy, and one wonders about the wisdom of a judge that would create a situation that could conceivably lead to terrible consequences. Once one accepts the premise, however, there's a great deal to enjoy in Sidney Sheldon's screenplay. The plotting is just what is expected, but it comes across as inevitable rather than predictable, and Sheldon has supplied his characters with amusing situations (the opening trial sequence and Nugent and Margaret's dinner are especially fine) and sharp, delightful dialogue. Irving G. Reis' direction keeps the film moving at a brisk pace, allowing the jokes to land, but never lingering a moment too long. Cary Grant is, of course, in impeccable farceur mode, showing off both his charm and his sense of timing to their very best advantage. He's well matched by the delectable Myrna Loy, and Shirley Temple comes off quite well in one of her few "grown-up" parts. Bachelor is a trifle, but it's fun.