The Heavenly Body (1944)

Genres - Comedy, Romance  |   Sub-Genres - Romantic Comedy  |   Release Date - Mar 23, 1944 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 95 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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The Heavenly Body is a harmless, but unexciting and disappointing little romantic comedy. Half the time, Body also wants to be a screwball comedy -- but there's a rather large gap between what the film desires and what it achieves. Place the blame squarely on the trite screenplay, which lacks the inventiveness, wit and sparkle that would make the project soar. The basic premise, though ridiculous, could make for a perfectly delightful screwball piece; but without the above-named trappings, it comes across as dull. The comet crash sequence is fairly ingenious; too bad there weren't a dozen more such moments. Alexander Hall's so-so direction doesn't help; it gets the job done, but doesn't do anything to make up for the deficiencies in the script, and overall lacks imagination. Much better is William Powell, who does everything he can short of standing on his head to make things work -- and has the good grace to make it look fairly effortless into the bargain. Hedy Lamarr looks stunning, but her performance is serviceable, nothing more; what's needed is someone with a real comic presence, and Lamarr doesn't quite fill the bill. James Craig is fairly wooden, but Spring Byington and Fay Bainter bring a great deal of life to their roles.