The Men in Her Life (1941)

Genres - Drama, Romance  |   Sub-Genres - Romantic Drama  |   Run Time - 89 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

A nifty little soap opera, The Men in her Life is definitely for those who enjoy a little suds with their cinema, and not for those looking for intelligent drama. But as an outright melodrama intended to give star Loretta Young a chance to suffer nobly, Men is quite good. It's manipulative, of course, but it doesn't really pretend to be otherwise, and there's something to be said for that "upfront-ness." Director Gregory Ratoff certainly doesn't seem bothered by this; he clearly enjoys the opportunity to tell a familiar but engaging story and has a fine time tugging at the viewer's heartstrings. Young is not ideally cast; although she reportedly was very dedicated to making herself believable as a ballerina, she doesn't quite achieve this. She moves well enough, but she doesn't seem "to the barre born." Still, that's a minor quibble, as she's certainly actress enough to carry the emotional demands of the piece, and that's far more important. The rest of the cast is fine, with Eugenie Leontovich a bit of a standout. Some of the screenplay does get a bit ridiculous; it's hard to believe the circus bareback rider-to-ballerina bit, for example. But those willing to suspend disbelief will have a fine old time.