A Novel Romance
After she sold her best selling novel to Hollywood for it to be turned in to a movie Kit Madden (Claudette Colbert) is a little disappointed when she learns that Cary Grant has turned down the lead role. But as she travels to Hollywood by train she meets a couple of Marines, Rusty (John Wayne) and Dink (Don DeFore), with Rusty being the spitting image of the hero from her novel. The thing is that Rusty and Dink don't realise that the attractive Kit is the author of the novel and they are not fans of it either. It puts Kit in a quandary as having fallen for Rusty she doesn't know how to deal with the fact he doesn't know she wrote the book he objects to.
If someone came up with the script for "Without Reservations" now the chances are it wouldn't make it to the big screen, instead it would be swallowed up by a company which made Hallmark romantic comedies and would probably feature a couple of Hallmark regulars in the lead roles. Just shows how much cinema has changed and how audience tastes have also changed because this sort of obvious romantic comedy where one person has a secret had its day in the 60s and since then even attempts to make new ones with current stars have rarely impressed.
Anyway back to "Without Reservations" and it should go without saying that the storyline is kind of obvious with Kit having fallen for Rusty who disagrees with the way a character acts in her popular novel. But what makes "Without Reservations" entertaining is that it has a touch of a movie about a movie going on and there's some entertaining writing especially when the Marines are talking about Cary Grant having a lot of bananas. In fact there are also a few famous faces in minor roles and even a brief but amusing cameo to grab your attention.
Truth be told the thing I like the most about "Without Reservations" is that it is a John Wayne romantic comedy and for me Wayne never got enough credit when he turned on the charm and played handsome and romantic especially when it came to all the face pulling antics he was so good at. But there is also Claudette Colbert who turns on the cute and devious charm as Kit as she tries to hide the truth. These two work well together with both Don DeFore and Anne Triola providing extra comic relief in supporting roles.
What this all boils down to is that "Without Reservations" is a pretty formula driven romantic comedy right down to the quirky comedy of Anne Triola who shows up as Connie. But for fans of older romantic comedies and those who enjoy Hallmark romantic comedies will probably get a kick out of this.