In Love with Ginger
University professor Peter Morgan (James Stewart) is in the city to find his cousin Keith (James Ellison) and return him home. It is why he finds himself in a night club and it is where he finds himself lost for words when he sees night club singer Francey (Ginger Rogers). It leads to them walking around town all night with Peter completely in love before the night is out and with Francey in love with him. It is how they come to be married and on a train heading for Peter's hometown, Old Sharon. Thing is before he can tell his extremely conservative father, Peter Morgan Sr. (Charles Coburn), that the beautiful blonde he is travelling with is his wife his father pours scorn on her leaving Peter trying to tell his parents that he has got married but struggling every time.
"Vivacious Lady" is the sort of movie which highlights how much power old stars have with their fans, what I mean by that is simply the combination of Ginger Rogers and James Stewart makes this a lot more popular than it probably deserves. So take the youthful combo of Rogers and Stewart out of the equation for a minute and what you have is a simple comedy where a young man having got married struggles to tell his conservative father who bosses him about and won't let him get a word in edge ways. And just as typically there is a girlfriend of sorts who is making a play for our young man. It is just a typical confusion comedy which thanks to it being a product of the late 30s is a lot snappier than later similar movies.
But it is the appeal of the stars who make "Vivacious Lady" as you have Ginger Rogers delivering all the usual comedy with that exceptional timing which so few stars have these days. But then you have her playing cute and adorable and when she leans in and whispers "I love you" in Tommy's ear it is enough to make any man go weak at the knee and wish they could travel back in time. But James Stewart is in just as much fine form playing that typical awe schucks sort of character but delivering such a gentleness in the quiet scenes it is quite beautiful. And combined you can tell even now that Ginger Rogers and James Stewart were close friends.
In fairness it isn't just Ginger Rogers and James Stewart who make "Vivacious Lady" as Charles Coburn is in fine comical blustering form whilst Beulah Bondi has a few fun scenes of her own whilst, yes you guessed it, playing James Stewarts' mother again, some thing she did five times no less.
What this all boils down to is that "Vivacious Lady" is a good movie with plenty of comedy and fun dialogue. But it is a movie which becomes more than okay for those who are fans of either Ginger Rogers or James Stewart as it is their chemistry and comic talents which end up giving the movie that some thing more.