It Reminds me of a Man
"The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer" which is also known as "Bachelor Knight" is another one of those vintage screwball comedies which stars Cary Grant. Now that alone normally means that this will be a lot of fun but "The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer" not only also stars Myrna Loy but also Shirley Temple as an infatuated teenager which just adds to the movies charm. And what it also means is that whilst the set up which sees Grant forced to pretend to be interested in Temple is ridiculous the actors make it a lot of fun.
Richard Nugent (Cary Grant - Notorious) is not only an artist but he is also a handsome bachelor which leads to him having to appear in court in front of Judge Margaret Turner (Myrna Loy - Cheaper by the Dozen) when the night before a catfight broke out in The Vampire Club over him. After feeling that Richard is not to blame Margaret lets him off with just a warning. Shortly after Richard heads to the High School to give a lecture on art where all the teen girls go wild for him especially Susan (Shirley Temple - The Little Princess) who just happens to be Margaret's little sister. After sneaking into his apartment and found by Margaret, she decides to give Richard a chance to avoid prison by pretending to be interested in Susan until the teenager's crush goes away.
You have to say that back in the bygone era of cinema they got away with some stuff which simply wouldn't fly now. In an age where we have teachers running away with students can you imagine a studio green lighting a movie which sees an eligible bachelor ordered to date a teenager just so she can get over her crush. But because "The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer" is something you just wouldn't see on the big screen now makes it all the more entertaining because in that sense it is certainly original.
Now I said original but in many ways "The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer" is a traditional romantic screwball comedy as we have chalk n cheese characters. On one hand we have the fun loving bachelor as always effortlessly played by Cary Grant going up against the stiff and legal judge played with the perfect amount of stiffness by Myrna Loy. Of course we know that despite being total opposites and winding each other up that eventually they will end up together. And if that wasn't enough we also have Margaret's mischievous uncle who is the court psychiatrist who fears she will end up an old maid so manipulates things to try and set them up.
But on top of this seemingly traditional screwball comedy we also have the extra layer of comedy featuring Grant and Temple. Now Grant has a lot of fun playing the grown up acting like a teenager when forced to date the teenager but you have as much fun with Temple delivering a teenager trying to act sophisticated and older. It is Grant and Temple who make this movie with their wonderful comic timing which just delivers one laugh after another be it Grant turning on the charm or Susan trying to sound grown up but then the next minute acting like a sulking school girl. Although at the same time writer Sidney Sheldon deserves as much credit as the actors because it is his zippy dialogue which flies so brilliantly back and forth.
What this all boils down to is that "The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer" is simply a lot of fun which is up there with some of the best screwball comedies from the bygone era with Cary Grant and Shirley Temple being a big reason why it works.