Oh, how I enjoy an old fashioned romantic comedy made in the studio system era (early 1930s to about 1950). Some friends of mine are always surprised when I say how much I love romantic comedies as a genre. I think it’s because most of the ones made today are wretched formula. Where has the wit, the romance, the onscreen chemistry, the style and the class gone? I think it's gone away, like most of the talented, original filmmakers.
I Love You Again from 1940 is a whole different ballgame for romantic comedies. It’s got two stars—William Powell and Myrna Loy—who have chemistry to burn, it’s got a fun plot (Powell’s an amnesiac con man awaking from a 9 year slumber) and a nice twist (Loy’s the wife who wants a divorce).
I Love You Again is a pleasure on a lot of little levels. As a romantic comedy it has the quips, the teases, the hook of will she love him again after he’s revealed as his real self—not the penny pinching, teetotaler he’d been during their marriage but the devilish rogue—and all the effortless charms that make films from this era so timeless.
Watching Powell and Loy act in one of their romantic comedies is fun for me every single time I see one of their pictures. I have a hard time deciding which one I like to watch more, as they are both charismatic and appealing. They make a dynamite on screen duo, and luckily for us they enjoyed making movies together, as they paired up 14 times in their career, including the popular Thin Man series.
I Love You Again is in line to be remade and ruined (like many films have been recently). The thought of this makes me cringe. I’m sure some Hollywood producer drools at the thought of the pairing of a talented (in abdomen six-pack only) Matthew McConaughey and some equally untalented female costar. People now are just such complete suckers for below average mediocrity and it’s both a shame and a sham.
I’ll pass on the 2008 I Love You Again and all the other retreads that are coming down the pike. I’ll stick with the originals, the films that have held up to 67 years of aging as I Love You Again has, with stars of talent such as Powell and Loy. You can have the media overload of hype that makes for films and stars now. I’m losing interest in the barrage of the talentless that parade by in film after film. Call me an old fashioned romantic, but sometimes, the older stuff is just way, way superior.