The Lady Eve, directed by Preston Sturges and starring Henry Fonda and Barbara Stanwyck, is touted as a screwball comedy, but I didn’t really find any elements of screwball in it. Even comedy seemed to be in short supply; the film is more of a pure romance, and in this vein, it is very effective.
You know, for a film touted as a comedy, I just didn’t find the film very funny at all. I chuckled at a few moments, but that was it; I couldn’t even detect an attempt at humor in most of the rest of the film. Not that it’s a bad film; normally, what irks me about screwball comedies is when they constantly try to be funny and they’re just not funny at all, and this doesn’t seem to over-try like others do so often. It’s an able romance film, however, with a few bits of comedy here and there. Henry Fonda plays well a charmingly befuddled rich man, and Barbara Stanwyck is excellent at playing her roles-within-a-role.
The film is rather short; only an hour and a half. Even so, I felt the time pass by surprisingly fast. It was refreshing to watch such a purely made film after seeing so much style lately; it was a nice change of pace. I think you’ll ultimately enjoy this film, as long as you know what sort of film you’re getting into. I wouldn’t call this a must see experience, however, but it’s an enjoyable romance all the same.
Arbitrary Rating: 8/10